During a kidnapping raid in Arizona, Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) and her team of FBI agents discover corpses hidden in the walls of of a house in Chandler. The team surmise that its at the hands of drug cartel boss Manuel Diaz (Bernardo P. Saracen). Kate and her team are eager to put and end to the criminal activity.
Sicario (Spanish for Hitman) involves various killings, exciting action sequences and morally taxing characters. Emily Blunt stars as Kate, a woman who is both tough and vulnerable, showcasing one of the best performances of the year by a female actress. She stunned us in the action blockbuster Edge Of Tomorrow alongside Tom Cruise and there have already been reports that she will be up for the 2016 Oscar. She may not seem like an obvious pick but if you examine the way Blunt fleshes out the character with such raw integrity and grit, then you’ll see where, I and most other critics are coming from.
While the drug cartel genre seems done to death, Sicario brings us an unforgivably gorgeous and cinematic thriller that not only provokes but informs. Credit where credit is due, the most eye catching element of this film without doubt is the clean cut, hyperrealistic cinematography by Roger Deakins. As the afternoon dust floats across the screen we’re given dirty and dry landscapes, drawn out shots and a dazzlingly fun performance from Benicio del Toro.
The lingering message about the sheer force of the drugs trade as an ever-growing business and a criminal activity does not fall short. Director Denis Villeneuve (popular for making 2012 film Enemy and prepping for the new Blade Runner sequel) switches up a dry genre with visceral landscapes and defiant, physically emotional characters. Often, the aesthetics distract from the fast paced nature of the films plot but as the films nail biting end nears and Johann Johannsson’s melancholic score plays, the damp and dark reality of this story sets in. Tense, thrilling and expertly orchestrated, Sicario pumps shot after shot at the viewer until they’re an anxious, excited and frankly, frightened mess.