Movie Review: Sicario
Three words: Sicario is sick.
And I don’t mean sick as in bad. I mean sick as in “holy shit balls this movie is fucking amazing.”
For those who need a minor brush up on their Spanish, the word ‘sicario’ can be translated to mean “hit man,” which I knew because 1) I remember all of like four words from taking Spanish in high school (biblioteca, dos, pollo, sicario. Oh, and Feliz Navidad), and 2) my wife and I just finished binge watching the first season of Narcos on Netflix.
Highly recommend it by the way.
Sicario begins by introducing us to Emily Blunt’s character, Kate, an FBI agent who’s tough as nails and as by the book as they come (as we learn later, and proves to be to her detriment).
I have slight issue with Emily Blunt being characterized as “tough as nails” because she’s all of 110 lbs (and has a cute British access in real life). But she pretty much is in this movie, plus she kicked some ass in Edge of Tomorrow so whatever, I’ll roll with it. It’s Hollywood.
She’s involved in a pretty intense raid/drug bust in the opening sequence which results in a rather disturbing and grotesque revelation that I won’t divulge here. Needless to say: it speaks to a higher, more nefarious plot point.
A plot point that results in her be “recruited” by what can only be described as an equally nefarious secret government task force – hello Josh Brolin and the almost always excellent Benicio del Toro – hell bent on not really telling what she’s being recruited for.
“Just shut up and learn,” she’s repeatedly told.
And so the plot unfolds.
In one of the most intense, dark, and beautifully shot (huge props to cinematographer, Roger Deakins) films I’ve seen in recent memory
I love dark movies.
While I understand that many people use the movies as a way to escape the doom and gloom that surrounds us – Ebola, war, terrorism, Justin Bieber – and look forward to the same story line where the guy gets the girl in the end, Lassie makes it home, or to be immersed in a cornucopia of CGI eye candy where The Rock arm wrestles a T-Rex1, I for one appreciate when a movie is less butterfly kisses and rainbows (and CGI) and more of a punch in the throat that reminds us “yeah, this is real life, some shit out there is fucked up sometimes.”
I have to give a tip of the hat to director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Enemy) who’s quickly climbing the ladder as one of “new” great directors, and someone who doesn’t flinch when it comes to telling a dark story…much in the same vein as David Fincher.
Everything from the storyline itself to the ominous score to the really, really cool scenes involving a gun battle at the U.S./Mexican border and night vision goggles in a tunnel (WARNING: if you’re claustrophobic you may want to skip this part) is brilliantly handled.
And least we forget the acting performances themselves. Blunt and Brolin are fine in their roles, but it’s del Toro who shines.
Every scene he’s in makes you crave for more. There’s one scene involving him and a family eating together at dinner that more or less serves as the crescendo of the film. Sooooooo good.
Look for a Best Supporting Actor nod, and don’t be surprised if he wins for the second time (his first being Traffic).
Sicario, so far, is my favorite movie this year. Go see it.