“Sicario” – A Slice in the Border War Review

“Sicario” means “hit man” in Spanish.

"Sicario" (Rotten Tomatoes)

“Sicario” (Rotten Tomatoes)

Before I begin this review, I have these two raspberry colored elephants to clear:

  1. During some of the action scenes, Emily Blunt reminds me of the character she played in “Edge of Tomorrow.”
  2. Benicio Del Toro’s eyes are brighter.

“Before I was even in high school, I had dark circles under my eyes. Rumor was that I was a junkie. I have dark circles under my eyes, deal with it.”
– Benicio Del Toro

Let’s continue.

“Sicario” is directed by Denis Villeneuve and written by Taylor Sheridan. Emily Blunt stars as FBI agent Kate Macer. Opposite Blunt’s formidable presence are Josh Brolin as Matt Graver, and Benicio Del Toro as Alejandro.

“Sicario” a tough, suspenseful movie, with a subtle damper on the gore, is a lesson in the efficiencies of: going off book and less is more.

“She’s not even scratching the surface doing things by the book.” Emily Blunt

Kate, an FBI agent, leads a strike on a house while looking for hostages. As they ‘clear’ the warlord’s house, a gunshot blown hole in the wall exposes a rechid scene of a gruesome lifestyle.

Dead, standing bodies insu-lace the plastered walls of the hostel.


Graver is brusque and often wears a flippant grin on his face. Completing the trio is Del Toro’s Alejandro, the quiet but deadly mysterious consultant, played with brooding complexity and charming machismo. Meet “Sicario.”

Kate is the prime candidate to participate in Graver’s off the grid task to catch the real people behind this rechid scene.

Kate, Matt and Alejandro plan in "Sicario." Rotten Tomatoes

Kate, Matt and Alejandro plan in “Sicario.” (Rotten Tomatoes)

The “chemistry” between this threesome is immediate and eventually cooperative.

To ease all of this hot tension, and next to Kate, is her doting partner, Reggie Wayne, played by Daniel Kaluuya. Reggie and Kate soon learn how playing off book can keep you from making deadly mistakes.

We get a taste of how this ill-fated lifestyle entangles “regular” people and officials into the cartel normal.  It’s ‘normal’ to watch as black FBI caravans posse into the cartel’s land. Black SUVs drive by low hanging fruit (butchered bodies) that keep others in check.

This movie is efficient with its violence. This makes for shorter gun fights. (Is that a bad thing?) It was skillfully executed, and kept the suspense going.

Lines were minimized and visualized instead.

“..Cinematographer Roger Deakins can suggest menace and moral ambiguity by letting the camera slowly creep-glide into a performer’s personal space (what Villeneuve calls the visual equivalent of “putting pressure on your characters”)”

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/movies/news/mexican-cartels-and-wet-willies-the-story-behind-sicario-20150928#ixzz3r9RKWBvp

“Sicario” exceeded my high expectations.

I liked this movie. I didn’t want to miss a moment. I was on the edge of my recliner, so to speak, stretched out and holding onto the arm rests for comfort, for many scenes. (I did take a quick break, runtime is 121 minutes. I advise you take care of all of your business before you enter the theater!)

Check out “Sicario” if only to get a small taste of this other side of the border! Remember, it’s a movie, representing a sliver of the pie at best.

Moral debris is left for the audience to figure out. Where do the pieces fall for you?