Saturday, October 24, 2015

Sicario (Brockway)

Tropic Sprockets by Ian Brockway


 Hard hitting and noirish director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) scores once again with "Sicario" about FBI relations in Mexico. Emily Blunt stars as Agent Kate Macer, a tough unsentimental woman who gradually becomes overwhelmelmed by the amoral actions around her.

During a raid in Arizona, she discovers several bodies buried under the sheetrock ala Edgar Allan Poe. Driven to make progress in the drug trade, she is sent by her supervisor (Victor Garber) to work with Matt Graver, (Josh Brolin) an undercover CIA man. Graver is cynical and as hard as cement, on the trail of Diaz, a cartel boss.

Graver has one lethal weapon, one Alejandro, (Benicio del Toro ) a cold and deliberate killing machine. Macer grows increasingly horrified by the gruesome events she sees including naked men hung from posts and a Wild West style shootout in the middle of a busy highway. When she attempts to decompress with her partner Reggie (Daniel Kaluuya) she unwittingly meets up with Ted (Jon Bernthal) a violent henchman.

Macer is aghast with shock. del Toro turns in another deadpan and eerie performance as a frightful and sadistic killer, a kind of half Joker, half Equalizer, born sour. When he smiles, it is never a party. There is also another Joker connection to Alejandro: his daughter was thrown into a vat of acid.

Emily Blunt is especially good as an agent who strives to do her best in an amorally savage and blood-gushing world. Though Kate's existence becomes squared with pain and fear, she carries on in the tradition of Maya from "Zero Dark Thirty" and the iconic Clarice in "Silence of The Lambs."

The primary stars of the show remain the cinematography by Roger Deakins where the wilds of Mexico resemble the surface of the moon, and the director who has raises the compelling comparison between violence and yearning to be a big shot to a kid's soccer game.

The percussive kicks of the ball are indistinguishable from the rounds of a gun. "Sicario" is yet another satisfying film from Villeneuve. The director seldom holds back and this jolting film does not disappoint. Villeneuve often creates his own geometric realm, where human sensitivity is absent and the normal boundaries of right and wrong no longer carry direction.

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