MV5BMjA5NjM3NTk1M15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwMzg1MzU2NjE@._V1_SX214_AL_What’s it all about?

An idealistic FBI agent is enlisted by an elected government task force to aid in the escalating war against drugs at the border area between the U.S. and Mexico.

Why did I want to watch it?

I didn’t really know anything about Sicario in advance but I saw a couple of trailers and there was good word of mouth and the idealistic FBI agent is Emily Blunt, one of my girl-crushes, so on the list it went.

One day I will make a list of those crushes, for reference purposes 😀

And that’s the last smile you’ll see in this post because look at the subject matter of this film.

What did I think about it?

I really admired and appreciated this movie but it is not a film that you can say you enjoyed (well, I couldn’t, anyway). Well cast, gripping, with everyone acting their socks off (but not in an actorly way if you understand me), the main feeling I took away from this was that it was grim, unrelentingly grim.

The film opens with a hostage rescue that goes wrong, there not actually being a hostage but a house stuffed full of bodies and a bomb which kills a couple of officers. This fires Emily Blunt up and she agrees to become part of a task force to bring down the people behind the atrocity she has just witnessed. But of course it isn’t as simple as that and the task force turns out to be more of a black op and it is clear that she has got herself into something much darker than she anticipated and her involvement has been requested for reasons she is not made aware of.

I’ve seen some criticism of her apparent naivety and whether that would have been the same if her character had been male, but I didn’t get that sense at all. She came across as a strong woman who wanted to make a difference and she is also our way into the story; she learns things at the same time we do, and I liked that. She didn’t just take things at face value, she did question, but perhaps her need for resolution meant that she didn’t question enough, and by then she was entirely complicit.

The body count is very high but it does give a real sense of the horrors of the drug trade. Someone said it reminded them of Zero Dark Thirty and I think that’s a good comparison.

Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro are both excellent as the leader of and adviser to the task force respectively, with the latter particularly strong as a man driven by his own agenda which the US is using in a pragmatic if rather cynical way, but I don’t think he really cared.

But make no mistake, this is definitely Emily Blunt’s film.