The Oscar race is starting, and early buzz has Sicario as an early favourite. But does the film justify the hype?
After a gruesome discovery during a kidnapping raid in Arizona FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) agrees to volunteer as part of Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) special team to get the cartel responsible. However she finds that Graver’s team does not follow by the rules and she is constantly being kept in the dark about the situation and about Matt’s mysterious partner Alejandro (Benicio del Toro).
Director Denis Villeneuve has produced a tight and tense movie full of many thrilling moments. It has a strong opening with a disturbing house of horrors in Arizona. The film has many gruesome moments throughout the film as we see the horror of the cartel in Mexico. A taut stand-off in a traffic jams also provides some thrills as does a raid in a tunnel at the film’s climax shot in night vision cameras.
Of the cast Blunt is typically strong as protagonist Kate, a relatable figure who is the audience’s eye through the morally ambiguous world. We are figuring out the real story just as she is. However the most magnetic performance comes from del Toro as the intriguing Alejandro. If the movie is awash with nominations come award season expect plenty to go his way.
My attention was gripped throughout the movie and while I liked it I didn’t love it like others have. Maybe it’s because it was raved about so much beforehand that expectations were too high? It also felt like there needed something extra at the end, an extra twist perhaps. It could be that I’m so used to morally corrupt authorities in movies that it doesn’t seem much of a surprise that Alejandro and co are not all that they seem. It probably would have been more of a twist of they were stand up good guys!
Rating 3.5/5 – exciting, thought – provoking with a spellbinding performance from del Toro