Possible spoilers ahead!
During my recent sabbatical, I thought it would be a good idea to catch up on a few movies I missed in theatres for one reason or another. First up on my list was
the crime-thriller drama “Sicario.”
The film from director Dennis Villeneuve opens with a battle between U.S. law enforcement and the Mexican drug cartels along the Arizona border. While tracking a lead in a kidnapping case, FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) and her team discover that an Arizona home has been serving as a cartel graveyard.
The events of that day ignite agent Macer’s need for justice, which makes it very easy a mysterious ‘problem solver’ named Matt (Josh Brolin) to recruit her onto his clandestine anti-cartel task force.
Before Kate even knows what’s going on, she finds herself on a plane headed south of the border, and teamed with an even more mysterious man named Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro). Once in Mexico, Kate watches as the rules of law, order and justice disappear.
“Sicario” does a good job of capturing the tension and horror of the current war on drugs by making it as realistic as possible. There are times in this movie when It’s hard to watch, and I’m sure some people will turn the movie off. Regardless, the film will keep you thinking long after the credits roll, and maybe that’s what the director was going for.
The film’s best moments come courtesy of Emily Blunt and Benicio Del Toro, who play off each other rather well. Blunt is subtle in selling a traumatic slow breakdown of what she thought justice was, and Del Toro chews up scenery like nobody else in the business. You’ll either love or hate his character, but he’ll have your attention either way.
That’s the good news about “Sicario.” The bad news is the editing and pacing of this movie was awful. Every time things picked up, it abruptly changes tone and everything slows down to a crawl.
I wouldn’t have minded if the plot slowly built up and then things went crazy. In fact, that might have worked better. But instead, all the speeding up only to slow down over and over, made me feel like I was stuck in heavy traffic.
“Sicario” was one of those movies I couldn’t wait to see last year. And even though I missed it on the big screen, I was still amped to see it on blu-ray. The cast was solid, the plot was interesting, and the hype was surprisingly good. Sadly, “Sicario” didn’t quite live up to my expectations. But it is worth watching for Emily Blunt and Benicio Del Toro’s performances.
“Sicario” final score: 7