Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini


Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro

Rated: R for strong violence, grisly images, and language.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: September 15, 2015 Released by: Lions Gate Films

Grim and ominous situations permeate an eerily riveting Sicario from French/Canadian auteur Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners, Enemy, Incendies) which runs on a certain pretentious repudiation.

The hopelessness is all to apparent in the Mexican drug trade during a white-knuckle featuring Emily Blunt (Edge of Tomorrow, Into The Woods, Looper), Josh Brolin (currently the vertiginously gripping Everest, Inherent Vice, W.), and Benicio del Toro (remember Traffic, also of Inherent Vice, Guardians of the Galaxy, Oliver Stone's Savages) that from the outset has a panicky esprit.

Phlegmatic FBI agent Kate (Blunt) is part of group who uncovers a sickening display at a Arizona cartel safe house behind a sheetrock wall as the electric lensing from Roger Deakins (Skyfall) provides acrimoniously striking images. It can be devastatingly sinewy while not having the astonishment in terms of narrative that may be anticipated.

An enlisted Kate joins an enigmatic combined crew to trap and eliminate an indispensable syndicate boss while not really finding out much in the process. Is her loquacious commander (an anarchic, cagey Brolin) really a G-Man? The pursuance includes Alejandro (a delicately dangerous del Toro), a former gumshoe with a special agenda.

Will a mature Sicario receive the kind of viewership it deserves? Probably not, considering what kind of vile, nasty circumstances surrounded the moral relativism in Prisoners. As Jack Nicholson's robust Frank Costello explained in Martin Scorsese's  The Departed, "Cops or criminals, what's the difference?" With the loss of humanity felt by Kate throughout, Blunt is effective in a sturdy, elaborate tale that formidably minces its way like the aforementioned teasingly Stone foray did but with more tenacious visceral charisma.

  Frank Chris Jim Dave Nina Dayra Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
Sicario  A-      B+   A-               B   B+ 

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