"You're Asking How the Watch is Made. For Now, Keep Your Eye on the Time."
“Sicario” gets this idea across through moments of striking visual storytelling and its use of a protagonist (Emily Blunt as the idealistic Kate) who is deliberately outside the system. Blunt’s character is set up as an outsider from the first minute of the film because of her gender and her lack of expertise with the task at hand, and this treatment of her character as a pawn has pros and cons within the narrative. The film benefits from using Blunt as someone who’s out of the loop because as stories go, “Sicario”’s plot is fairly typical, and by framing it as being seen from the eyes of one whose worldview is being challenged at every second, the creators keep the audience invested and shocked as the events unfold. However, Blunt’s removed nature from the task at hand keeps the audience from gaining necessary context; we’re never clued in on how the situation in Juarez reached this precarious state of equilibrium, on how the operatives arrived on which tactics worked to fit the situation, we are only shown through Blunt’s reactions that nothing going on is above board. This would be fine, except the tunnel vision isn’t consistent; the film abruptly changes protagonists near its climax, and while Benecio Del Toro has some killer scenes of his own in the last thirty minutes of “Sicario”, it is somewhat disheartening to see the moral center of the film rendered ineffectual. Although, I guess that’s the point of the movie.
“Sicario” might not become a classic due to its inconsistent narrative and slightly inaccessible subject matter, but it’s a sharply directed film with a piercing clear point of view and a crack team of actors to bring the story to life. At its best, it’s an exciting examination of moral greys that seeks to challenge its audience, even if it doesn’t always succeed.
NOT for children.
Crappy light beer. Something you can down quickly.
-Drink when you see a dead body
-Drink when Kate gets an oblique answer to a question
-Drink when someone speaks Spanish
-Drink when operatives ready their weapons
-Drink when someone is threatened with a gun
This review was written by Hollis Beck (Krissy Pappau). "Sicario" was produced by Black Label Media and Thunder Road Pictures, and distributed by Lionsgate. The film is rated "R" with a runtime of 121 minutes.
Special thanks to my patrons Caroline Kittridge Faustine, Kaela Mei-Shing Garvin and Antonia Beck. Your support helped make this article happen!