Sicario (2015)

brooke Sicario. Because we missed it in the theaters and it finally landed at Redbox.

casey The rollicking, feel good buddy comedy of the summer.
That is me being facetious
this movie was not those things
any of them

brooke Hoo boy no it was not
and I don’t even say stuff like “Hoo boy”

casey It’s dark.

brooke Literally. Lots of use of nighttime, shadows, dimly lit rooms, etc.

casey Just a quick rundown, Sicario tells the story of FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt), who gets drafted into a legally and ethically dubious special operation against drug cartels along the US-Mexico border, an op led by the smarmy CIA agent Graver (Josh Brolin) and the enigmatic Medellín (Benicio Del Toro). She’s also joined by her partner and a group of appropriately grizzled, nameless Marines. As events unfold, her desire to work within the law clashes with the team’s violent, extralegal tactics, especially as she learns the true purpose of the operation and her role within it.

brooke I don’t want to spoil since the movie only just came out on DVD, but let’s just say it doesn’t end well for everybody.
After all, Sicario, as the title cards teach, means hitman in Spanish.

casey It’s Clear and Present Danger meets Zero Dark Thirty, minus the political machinations and the methodical spycraft. Basically, a violent thriller, often beautifully shot. And TENSE.

brooke What made it more interesting than the average thriller for me was how invested Blunt’s character is in the outcome of the mission despite how little information she’s given. We watch Macer’s slow descent into madness, but it’s mostly a product of her frustration, because she also wants to fight the cartels.

casey She’s no wilting flower, just a good cop in an incresingly bad situation.

brooke And can we talk about Emily Blunt?
Her acting was seriously superb.

casey I thought she was very good. Between this and Edge of Tomorrow (or Live. Die. Repeat. or whatever the hell they’re calling it these days) she’s got the steely but vulnerable thing down. And I really liked Del Toro, especially as the movie progresses and he assumes an increasingly central role. He remains quiet and understated even as…well, a lot of violent things happen.

brooke Yes. His acting was exactly what it needed to be. Subtle and dark and tbh a little frightening.
Macer’s partner drove me nuts though.
He was such a strange character who spent about half his on-screen time bugging her about buying new bras and dating.

casey What’s wrong with new bras?

brooke …….

casey Anyway, what the movie is not, at least for me, is a serious investigation into the drug trade or Mexican drug cartels, even if the kind of horrific violence depicted has real world analogues. It operates on the same level as, say, Breaking Bad. Which is okay; it’s damned harrowing. Also gory.

brooke All true. Especially the gory part. It was loaded pretty heavily on the front end of the movie, but still. We’re talking like, chopped and blown up bodies. It was really intense, and they jump right into it, with bodies in walls and an explosion that kills several people within the first 5 minutes.

casey Not for kids, unless you hate and want to frighten them.

brooke Speaking of kids…
There is a side story that follows a kid whose dad is linked to the cartel,
and while I get why they included it, most of the scenes felt awkward
That story is probably my only real complaint. I don’t want it gone, I just wanted it to fit better.

casey I think they were going for a “this is how this all affects ordinary lives” vibe, but was disjointed. A movie just about that family would have been incredibly interesting. Overall, though, I’d call Sicario one of the best movies of its kind this year. Well worth a watch if you can stomach the violence.

brooke I’d definitely agree. If this sounds at all like your kind of movie, it really is.
Just don’t complain about Emily Blunt being too tiny or unfit for the role or whatever nonsense I saw on the iMDb message boards when I was getting actor’s names.
Her performance alongside Del Toro’s are what make the movie.

casey I didn’t even know IMDB had message boards.

brooke I wouldn’t recommend spending too much time there…
Anyway.
See Sicario!

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