The world can be a dark and unforgiving place. Sicario is a prime example of that. Set near the border of The United States and Mexico, the film explores the harsh nature of drug trafficking and the moral grey area associated with working that division in law enforcement. Nothing is ever as simple as black and white. There are no good guys or bad guys, just people. People with their own agendas.
FBI Special Weapons and Tactics Teams agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) has seen her fair share of horrors out in the field, but after a recent botched drug raid leaves leaves a few of her fellow agents dead she vows to bring the ones responsible to justice. To do so, she joins an elite task force whose mission is to take down one of Mexico’s biggest drug lords. Led by agent Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) and mercenary Alejandro Gillick (Benicio del Toro), Kate soon realizes that in order to catch the criminals she can’t exactly play by the book. It’s something she’s not so sure she’s willing to do.
Sicario is an absolutely beautiful film in terms of cinematography, score, and presentation. In terms of subject matter, it’s disturbingly bleak. Kate is an agent who just wants to do the right thing and get rid of the drug trade running rampant, but in order to do so she must push her morals to the side. Matt and especially Alejandro have no problems with doing what is necessary, even if it questionable.
Kate’s first look into Matt and Alejandro’s world is when they go into the heart of Juarez, Mexico to extract a prisoner who has key information they need. The scene is stunning and brutally intense, as their convoy of black Escalades make their way from The United States into Mexico, where they could be ambushed by the cartel at any moment. The film is beautifully shot, with gorgeous wide landscaping shots that play with the light and the dark and the shadows they create. It, coupled with Jóhann Jóhannsson’s fantastic score, makes it feel like anything can happen in a heartbeat. You’re constantly on edge, wondering who will gain the upperhand.
Emily Blunt and Benicio del Toro give amazing performances in Sicario. They both play characters who want the same thing, but have very different ideas of how to achieve it. Josh Brolin is decent but just doesn’t compare when sharing a scene with Blunt or del Toro.
Sicario is one of those films that makes you feel uneasy when watching. It’s disturbingly intense and doesn't hold anything back. For most people, a single viewing will probably be more than enough. The world it shows make be dark and bleak, but the manner in which it’s displayed is shockingly beautiful.