Quebecois Denis Villeneuve has become one of the best directors in Hollywood after Enemy and Prisoners, which we’re both fantastic so I was looking forward to Sicario a lot. And while it isn’t up to the standards as Villeneuve’s previous films, Sicario is still a well-made film although it lacks a bit on the story and the character development front.
Emily Blunt plays dedicated FBI agent Kate Macy who is enlisted by an elite government task force who investigate on the escalating war on drugs in Mexico. Led by a furious and unpredictable consultant Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) the taskforce journey through the crime filled cities, as Kate must question every decision in order to survive…
The direction by Villeneuve is fantastic and the cinematography by Roger Dekens, the best Cinematographer working today, is gorgeous. The film is perfectly lit and the shots are so perfectly well displayed. As far as the technical aspects go, everything is put together so flawlessly.
The story itself is where we get into some problems. The first half of the film starts of strong, but the second half drags and sort of meanders. None of the characters except Emily Blunt are likeable or redeemable. They’re douche bags, and therefore it’s hard to latch on too the film. The film is also depressing as hell, and there is no hope whatsoever in Sicario unlike The Martian where the tone is uplifting. Here, the tone is dark, grim and filthy and that would have been fine if the story in-between would have been better paced and more interesting. It’s nothing all that new or original, which made it look more somber than it actually was.
The last act picks things up again, and the movie ends strong. It’s just that middle section, not a lot is happening and it’s hard to get invested in a story where the characters are unlikeable. The performances are all fantastic (for the most part) Josh Brolin is great; Benicio Del Toro is Oscar Worthy (and the most developed character in the film) and Emily Blunt is by far the best part of this film. She’s a strong female character, even if we know barely anything about her.
However, Jon Bernthal who plays Shane on The Walking Dead has never been a good actor and he always plays a dick and he’s not good in this film. Thankfully, he’s not in it a lot, but he ruins the part he is in and it just doesn’t work.
Overall, Sicario isn’t the best Denis Villeneuve movie out there, but it’s still worth seeing for the performances and the incredible direction and beautiful cinematography. The story isn’t just quite there as much as his previous works.