SICARIO released to wide acclaim and no wonder. This tense, hard hitting thriller is one of the best action thrillers of the year and is right up there with the best.
Canadian director Denis Villeneuve once again shows us how underrated he truly is. After the likes of Incendies, Prisoners, and Enemy, he may have just outdone himself with Sicario. It’s an outstanding display of how to make a truly memorable thriller.
Sicario is set on the US-Mexican border and it follows the story of FBI Agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) who joins Matt Graver (Josh Brolin), an elite government task force official, and Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), a suspicious ‘consultant’ to Graver, on a mission to eliminate the head of a Mexican cartel network.
From the get-go the film tosses you into a pit of energetic tension and thrilling set pieces that linger on in your head long after the credits finishing rolling. Villeneuve’s ability to create and sustain palpitating suspense throughout the entirety of the film is a testament to his genius behind the camera. Simply put, Sicario more than delivers as a crime thriller. It surpasses any thriller that has come out in the past three years (at the least).
Just as was expected of Villeneuve, Sicario is marvellously shot. The striking beauty he can find in the grim, barren, and basically war torn Border landscape makes this a feast for the eyes and every shot again assists to prolong the sense of dread and keep the audience weary of what awaits them. However, this film never lies to you.
Instead it is brutally honest. You find yourself catapulted into the harsh reality of gangland Juarez and all you can do is push onwards. Every set piece is its own contained suspense building experiment that feels just as tense as any Hitchcock movie. Combined with Jóhann Jóhannsson’s thumping soundtrack, all you can do is sit forward and be swept up by the sea of suspense.
Finally, the stars of Sicario do not fail to deliver performances that shadow their previous roles. Benicio Del Toro portrays the hitman Alejandro with such presence and power that every scene with him you know something is going to go down.
Emily Blunt however steals the show. She plays as one of the realest female protagonists that I’ve ever seen in a long time. Her ability to portray a female character so well written – which is truly refreshing at this time – and so life like is a strong reason why she may be one of the best female actresses around. Blunt’s character is by no means an every-woman, but the character feels so real and so human that she blows every other glamourized female protagonists in past films away. Finally, a female character not defined by her gender and one who does not fall under overused tropes.
Believe the hype around Sicario. It is a spectacle to behold and this will not be forgotten anytime soon. If you’ve been craving for a film that grabs you by the balls and pulls you in so fiercely and engrosses you in non-stop thrilling action, then look no further than Sicario. What a thrill!