I know, I know, I waited way too long to review this. I think word of mouth is paying off, though, as the theater was still packed, even a month and a half after its release. Maybe I’m telegraphing my score, let’s just move on.
Sicario is a film about a hostage-rescuer (Emily Blunt) who is recruited for an anti-cartel task force that’s going into Mexico to try and take out their top dogs. She’s thrown into this adventure, so she’s just as confused as us, as the leader of the team (Josh Brolin) gives zero information. We also have an insider into the cartel world, played by Benicio Del Toro. Together, they have a few different tasks throughout the movie, each one getting closer to the guy at the top of the food chain.
The movie is directed by Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners and Enemy).
Right off the bat, this movie blows you away. It’s suspenseful in a way that reminds me of an Antoine Fuqua movie, like Training Day. You just know things are not going to end well. There’s a few big missions in this movie and each one plays out beautifully, both chaotic and wild, yet still composed and easily followed.
Emily Blunt proves once again that she’s in the top tier of women action stars these days, delivering a great performance here. However the real standout is Benicio Del Toro, who kicks absolute ass the entire time. You don’t really know his motivation or why he’s there, but you don’t mess with him.
In terms of story, it’s a simple and perfect story, though I won’t tell you why. It’s a fun reveal as Blunt’s character slowly learns the whys and hows of their adventure into Mexico. It’s easy to follow yet there are a few twists and turns that keep it from being completely predictable.
What doesn’t work?
This movie is dark. Like… It doesn’t let up. And even the ending, you don’t really get a happily ever after or anything. So those of you looking for escapism and a fun popcorn flick, Sicario won’t do it for you. It’s dark, there’s a lot of death, and there’s a lot of suspense, that makes you think every scene is going to end with a massacre.
If you’re in the mood for a fun action movie, look somewhere else. There is plenty of action in Sicario though, but it doesn’t have the comedy that most movies use to balance that. We get a great performance by Emily Blunt as she goes through this ordeal but the real standout is Benicio Del Toro, who might snag an Oscar nomination for his work here. In both cinematography and music, it’s beautiful and yet hauntingly dark. This is likely a movie you’ll want to see but likely never watch again.