Under the hot Arizona sun, somewhere near the border of Mexico FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) and her team make a grisly discovery that will lead Kate down a rabbit’s hole of intrigue, cover ups and the into the eternal war on drugs against some of the toughest men she will ever encounter.
She’s led by two “advisor” named Alejandro and Matt (Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin) and as she is blindly led from place to place she never quite figures out what is going on and why these men are determined to flush out the big guns of the drug cartels.
The movie is a graphic, at times a little too realistic look at the lawless borders that lie between Mexico and Arizona. The movie shies away from preaching about drug policies and instead focuses on the corruption of law enforcement on both sides of the border. At times the lines are blurred between law enforcement and brute force resembling a war zone in Afghanistan.
As the malevolent Matt, Josh Brolin is sublime as he navigates his way through enemy territory, keeping Kate on a need- to know basis. However it is Benicio Del Toro that really steals the show as the cold, enigmatic Alejandro, with some of the best one- liners in the movie ( You’re asking me how a watch works—for now, let’s just keep our eyes on the time”) making you want to follow him further down the rabbit hole and find out what is really going on behind that 1,000 yard stare.
With a punchy soundtrack that ups the ante and keeps you on the edge of the seat, Sicario is one movie that is brutal in its honesty and graphic as it depicts the war on drugs. As the plot descends even the climatic chase through a border tunnel is a nail biting even shot entirely in night vision with people transformed into scary looking monsters; criminals waiting to jump out at every turn and intense music thrumming to raise your sense of unease just a little more.
Its not a common action movie and the final twist at the end is exceptional. Its a grim look at a war that has spanned decades. Don’t expect something fluffy and nice like Training Day, be prepared to be shocked. Director Denis Villeneuve pulls no punches in this movie and it is not for the faint hearted.