Sicario – Review

Sicario is the new film from director Denis Villeneuve (I can spell his surname, I am not so sure how to say it…) that tells the story of Kate (Emily Blunt), a FBI agent who is recruited by a specialist task force to help take down a Mexican drug cartel smuggling drugs over the border into America. The film shows Kate’s struggle to adapt her by the book ways to the more unconventional means employed by the task force, led by the Josh Brolin.

At-tension to Detail

This is a brilliantly directed movie, the best feature being the way tension is built into certain scenes throughout the film. This is set up from the very opening of the movie, and the best parts of Sicario are these scenes. These scenes don’t always have the pay off with the action scenes being a little lacking for me, in particular one scene where the tension is built up to a crescendo that fizzles out rather than exploding onto the screen.

The tension filled scenes are backed up by the cast, with Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin giving strong performances. Blunt leads the film and most of the story is told from her point of view. Josh Brolin is great, offering a little comic relief at times and also convincing as the leader of the special task force.

However it is Benicio Del Toro who steals this film. Every scene he is in he owns, and the film almost seems to realise this as towards the end it becomes more about him than any other character. He is introduced as a shady character at the start, and by the end you are rooting for him, but even his story arc’s conclusion makes it clear.

That Special Something

There isn’t a lot wrong with Sicario, but for me there was something missing. The brilliant tension filled scenes are separated by scenes that didn’t keep me hooked into the story. They are not bad, there really isn’t anything bad about the film, they just are just average. This can make the 2 hour runtime seem a little lengthy, and it may be due to recently having seen The Martian, a film where every scene keeps you hooked in the story. I realise it is a little harsh to compare the two, but this is one of the problems i have with the film.

Final Thoughts

Sicario is a film that is excellently put together and performed, but doesn’t quite reach the level it could have. It is something i think could have been a brilliant TV series. This story told in the same style, but given 13 episodes rather than just 2 hours would have given a lot more time for all of the characters to be developed to the same extent as Del Toro’s. Breaking Bad is celebrated as a wonderful story and a huge part of this is the 90+ hours it had to develop the story and the characters.

Sicario, whilst still a very good film and i would recommend seeing if you get the chance, it’s a film that slightly missed the mark for me a little bit. I can see why people would love it, some of the scenes are truly fantastic, but film is subjective, and to me this one didn’t quite reach the heights consistently enough.

7/10 – Solid film with some great scenes


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