Review: Sicario

Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro star in this F.B.I style covert thriller, chasing down the big boss of a prominent drug cartel operating between the U.S. and Mexico border. For anyone looking for something light-hearted this is not for you, this is all-in dark and deep down the rabbit hole of secret government operations, so you need to commit to its seriousness or get out while you can.

Blunt is not playing the type of character you’d expect from the trailer, I was expecting someone like Rita from Edge of Tomorrow but Kate Macer is much more complicated than that. She plays the character vulnerable almost, she may have a dangerous job but she’s definitely not ready for the amount of violence and darkness that is headed her way. There are many moments where she almost seems weak, given that she’s the only female character that puts a downer on the film for me personally, but definitely doesn’t lessen its overall quality. She is reluctant to get herself into a situation where she isn’t actually aware what it is, but knows that she needs to find out. Blunt’s performance is dead on, fantastic as always and I may even go so far to say this is her best performance to date, the character may not be as strong as she appears at first but Blunt is definitely a strong actress through and through.

Brolin and Del Toro play their parts to a tee, there’s not really a lack of good acting, it’s a relatively small group but they all hit it right on the head. Brolin flawlessly becomes the oh-so-cool no matter the risk boss, which actually is rather annoying to a point but I would guess from his constant gum-chewing that it was a conscious choice to make his character slightly irritating, it definitely works. Del Toro is forever the mysterious man as Alejandro, you never quite know what he’s going to do or whose side he’s on but I can tell you it’s definitely interesting to find out. Then there’s Daniel Kaluuya, a name you might not necessarily recognise, the English star that’s appeared in films such as Kick-Ass 2, Welcome To The Punch and Johnny English Reborn, I can honestly say I’ve never had a reason to take him too seriously until this point, but his American accent was on point and actually added something to the film as the sort of back up to Blunt’s character, I will be watching out for him in future.

Denis Villeneuve may not have been a name really known before directing Prisoners in 2013 but it’s definitely one you’ll be hearing again, both due to this film and the fact that he’s confirmed to direct the new Blade Runner project with Harrison Ford and Ryan Gosling already attached. Sicario is fairly slow-paced so you have to bear with it in moments, but it’s not a film that drags on and on, it has plenty of metaphorically and literally explosive moments. The other fantastic thing about it is the score, a film scored well pushes it to be even better, the score tells you how to feel and gives you the hint of what’s going on while a badly scored film is just confusing and out of place.

You never quite know what to expect of this covert operation they’re embarking on, as an audience you’re as much in the dark as Macer but it’s worth waiting to find out. It’s a dark and serious film that will have you constantly questioning everything that’s going on, and I definitely recommend it.

Verdict: 8/10

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