‘Sicario’ a slow-building knockout
Denis Villeneuve burst onto the scene in 2013 with his chilling American directorial debut “Prisoners”, and later cemented himself as a director-to-watch with last year’s “Enemy”. Both films are excellent, and treat the audience as the smart moviegoers they are, letting them freely infer and fill in the blanks when it comes to things that aren’t fully spelled out. So it should come as no surprise that his latest effort “Sicario” succeeds in much the same way. This time he’s teaming up with the likes of Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, and Benicio Del Toro, who prove to be a fascinating trio in this slow-building thriller.
The film follows Kate Macer (Blunt), an FBI agent eager to make a difference after several members of her team are killed while searching a home containing evidence linked to a prominent Mexican drug cartel. She volunteers to help search for the men responsible as part of a special task force led by supposed Defense Department contractor Matt Graver and his mysterious partner Alejandro Gillick (Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro). But things begin to get messy and many of Kate’s preconceptions are shattered quickly. We trail her on this spellbinding journey of moral ambiguity and blatant violence, and her perspective is what makes the majority of it so surprising.
The thing that struck me immediately about the picture was the astonishing cinematography, which was beautifully done by the legendary Roger Deakins (most known for his work on films like “Fargo” and “No Country for Old Men”). When paired with the superb acting from each and every cast member, you get a knockout of a movie. Emily Blunt is the true stand out here, and seeing her lead the film after so many great supporting roles is extremely satisfying. This is undoubtedly one of my favorite films of the year so far, and continues to grow on me the more I think about it. “Sicario” is now playing in theaters everywhere.