Denis Villeneuve / Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin / Drama-Action / 2016 / 15 / 121 mins
So you’ve seen a ton of thrillers, you know that Special Forces use Steven Seagal at will, you’ve even played video games (cheers Tom Clancy) – but you don’t know the reality of it all, do you?
Every aspect of life has a gritty underbelly, and directors like Denis Villeneuve are keen to exploit them. Sicario was a contender for the Palme D’Or so I expected great things but in actuality it was oddly underwhelming. Let me explain: Sicario is the definition of a ‘slow burner’, a thriller that builds and builds, tension is drawn from every scene, and there is never truly an objective climax; the film is one great big heap of anxiety.
If that’s your cup of tea, then great – go ahead and watch it, be my guest (and all that jazz) – but I know many won’t like it. It may come across as more-drama-less-action which may alienate some viewers, especially for the way the film is shot. Although remember: this isn’t a bad thing. In fact it looks fucking fantastic. So yeah, a lot of shots were dark and brooding, a repetition you see throughout, but the variation of shots, techniques (the use of the infrared cameras, satellite imagery – genius) seemed as if the CIA had actually commissioned a realistic interpretation of actual events.
Top marks for Blunt, who doesn’t whimper into feminine obscurity. Del Toro was also good although he rarely emits much verbal flair (VILLENEUVE: Benicio, just do your ‘mumbling Mexican’ thang, okay?). Brolin was simply a quietly assured American macho-machine, which in Brolin’s case must mean ‘Be Normal’. And what about Daniel Kaluuya… last I saw of him was in this, now he’s taking things seriously – LESSON NO.1 Comedians always make great actors.
Sicario feels like it should be over much quicker. The plot is slow paced to emphasise the morals. I like that – it unflinchingly exposed the dark, grim side to daily life in the Special Forces. But, thankfully, it also managed to focus on the social impact – how Mexico is by and large affected by the cartel as well as the people meant to save them.
Intrigued by the reality of Tom Clancy & co.? Then watch this – you won’t be disappointed.
Film as a Film – 4 / Target Audience – 4 / General Audience – 2
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By Source, Fair use, via Wikipedia.