February 26, 2024

Gabbing Geek

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Late Geek Review: Sicario

Emily Blunt learns how ugly the War on Drugs can get in this 2015 thriller.

Why did I wait so long to watch Sicario?

It probably helps that there’s a sequel on the way and I figure I should see this before it comes out.

FBI agent Kate Macer is part of an anti-kidnapping task force that found a house full of corpses and a booby trap out in Arizona.  Her bosses suggest she work with unspecified government agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) to bring in a high-ranking lieutenant in a Mexican cartel, and Graver has as an equally unlisted associate, one Alejandro Gillick (Benicio Del Toro), who only says he is from Columbia.  And that’s when the nightmare happens and Kate finds little if anything is explained to her, what she understands as standard criminal investigative procedures don’t work, violence flashes out at random, and all Graver will say is their actions are meant to cause chaos on the Mexican side of the border without explaining what  the overall goal of the mission is, what agency he works for, or who Gillick works for.

This was a fantastic, moody piece, with a number of tense action scenes that is to be expected from director Denis Villeneuve.  The overall point seems to be how the drug war is affecting the lives of people like Macer on one side of the border/conflict, and to a lesser extent the family of a low-level cartel member on the Mexican side of the border.  Blunt is fantastic as a woman who gradually loses her composure the more she finds out, taken to the edge as an essentially decent human being in a place where there’s no room for that.  I am not sure how the sequel will play without her or Villeneuve, but I’ll be seeing it all the same to find out.  Nine out of ten untrustworthy one night stands.