After rising through the ranks of her male-dominated profession, idealistic FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) receives a top assignment. Recruited by mysterious government official Matt Graver (Josh Brolin), Kate joins a task force for the escalating war against drugs. Led by the intense and shadowy Alejandro (Benicio Del To...more
After rising through the ranks of her male-dominated profession, idealistic FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) receives a top assignment. Recruited by mysterious government official Matt Graver (Josh Brolin), Kate joins a task force for the escalating war against drugs. Led by the intense and shadowy Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), the team travels back-and-forth across the U.S.-Mexican border, using one cartel boss (Bernardo Saracino) to flush out a bigger one (Julio Cesar Cedillo). less
“Packed with gritty thriller elements, Sicario makes for a solid watch.”
Denis Villeneuve, who made the chilling Prisoners takes up an ambitious project which has attracted tons of other filmmakers - the drug cartels of Mexico. The movie starts with a scene that sets the tone for an important character, that of Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) who for much of the movie, becomes just bait, a pawn in the hands of bigger forces without her realizing it. Upset over the death of her colleagues during a raid, she volunteers to be part of a CIA expedition that is chasing one of the drug overlords. Things start getting puzzling for Kate when she notices for a starters that the project head has a private jet and has an adviser who is a mysterious non-government, grey-shades character Alejandro (Benicio del Toro). He is intensely dark and we know he has a lot of trauma stashed in his head and heart, from the past. Kate is horrified when her CIA colleagues (she is FBI) break rules and procedure as they go chasing one clue after another to reach the kingpin.
Emily Blunt doesn't play the strong woman of The Edge of Tomorrow, quite the contrary. She is vulnerable, traumatized and is clearly a novice in the big game, where she knows by instinct that all is not well. The ending is brilliant, revealing the full checkered board of the plan, where she was just a pawn that was used.
The cinematography of the movie by Roger Deakins, capturing the empty horizons, the tunnels, the below-par life on the suburbs and the drab look and feel of a semi-arid region infested with drug lords and gangwars, is awesome. So is the soundtrack by Johann Johansson which enhances the subtle, understated drama at every level. Benecio del Toro steals the show with his chilling, ice-cold, hawk-eyed, single-minded endeavor, one of the best grey-shade characters we have seen in the last decade. He is definitely up for an Oscar nomination along with Deakins and Johannson.
The movie falters perhaps in the tale itself which is a storyline we are all quite familiar with. The twists and turns are in the characters more than the story. So while the movie presents an interesting dissection of characters, the tale itself leaves space for improvement. Blunt becomes less and less significant as the movie proceeds, until the end where she becomes nothing more than a dotted line. That is okay, if the movie wasn't promoted to look like one with a massive role for Blunt. Benecio runs the show here, aided by Josh Brolin, with a wicked grin. Yet, it is a decent watch.