In Sicario, celebrated filmmaker Denis Villenenue (Prisoners) throws his audience into the very heart of darkness in a twisted, exhilarating film experience. Here’s the official synopsis:
Idealistic FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) is enlisted by an elite government task force official (Josh Brolin) to aid in the escalating war against drugs. Led by an enigmatic consultant (Benicio del Toro) with a questionable past, the team sets out on a clandestine journey forcing Kate to question everything that she believes in order to survive.
With an all-star cast and powerful script you shouldn’t need any more reason to line up for this thrilling flick. In case you’re on the fence, here’s the extra push you need:
5. The Wild West
Set in the dark and dusty plains of the American Border and Mexico, Sicario makes it clear that the Wild West never died, having simply replaced horses with four wheel drives and upgraded to bigger guns. When idealistic FBI Agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) first crosses the border, she comes to find herself in a completely alien world where the very question of right and wrong doesn’t exist. Villenenue uses the classic western archetypes to his advantage, but shifts them to suit this new world that his characters operate in where there are no rules, and the white hats have left town forever.
4. Cinematography on the edge
In Sicario, Villenenue also finds himself blessed with the partnership of noted cinematographer Roger Deakins, and the two shoot one hell of a film together. Deakins captures the crimson dusk and fading light in clear, beautiful strokes which heightens the scope and epicness of the plot. But the biggest test for Deakins comes in the formidable border crossing scene: a tense, nail-biting, journey that is framed beautifully and tracks at the pace of a ticking clock attached to a stick of dynamite.
3. The shadow world
Part of what makes Sicario so compelling is Villenenue’s commitment to detail in the world he finds himself operating in. Centering his story on the shadow warriors of the elite Tier One units of the FBI and their fellow law enforcement organisations, Villenenue takes the time to get their look and actions right, from the kit that they wear to their weapons and tactics. Everything works to create a believable world that will both fascinate and scare audiences.
2. Benicio del Toro’s Muerte Encarnada
Death takes human form in the shape of Benicio del Toro’s silent and intimidating assassin Alejandro — a lethal man of few words who is brutally efficient in the art of death. From the moment he graces the screen, you know there’s something off about this smooth and silent man with no name. Del Toro fully commits to the role of Alejandro, crafting a frightening and intriguing character who will live on as one of the silver screen’s most legendary antiheroes.
1. Emily Blunt: a sheep amongst wolves
While del Toro may provide the horror, Denis Villenenue places Emily Blunt at the film’s centre as FBI hostage rescue operative Kate Macer — a thoroughly green agent who finds herself quickly in over her head in this dark and chaotic world. As the only women in Sicaro’s boy’s club, Blunt really steps up to the plate, crafting a performance that guides the audience into the dark and brutal world where they experience the events of the movie first hand as she does. Blunt brilliantly bears the responsibility of playing the film’s moral center, which places her at great odds with her puppet master superior, the sly Matt Graver (Josh Brolin), and the dangerous world in which she now works. Blunt gives a simply stunning performance, and it’s very likely that Academy Gold could be heading her way.
Image source: Roadshow Films.