By far the darkest movie I’ve seen in a while.
I have a lot of very mixed feelings about this one–I missed it in theaters, rented it on Amazon, and am now sitting here, a little confused almost.
I’ll start with the positives.
Not only is this film militaristically accurate, aesthetically pleasing, and quite captivating at times, but the soundtrack works just perfectly. It really underlines the whole emotional progression and nails it pretty well. Roger Deakins has out done himself yet again in this one, with the color themes and artistic cinematography really hitting the mark. So good that at times I just kinda marveled at the beauty of the frame, almost as if it were a still photograph. Now the action, when it does get around to it, is pretty satisfying–it really depicts very well the efficiency of the American military forces (whether it be former US soldiers gone PMC, CIA Operatives, or current soldiers, all are used in this film) and it is pretty accurate to how stark the contrast is between the cartel and the Americans in terms of combat efficiency, rules of engagement, and tactics. Additionally, there are a handful of moments where the tension was drawn, I’m waiting for something to happen, maybe making a prediction, and something interesting and surprising happens. And for those who like gritty stories that tell the true nature of war, like the war on drugs depicted in this film, you’ll find this a very enjoyable film with its action, realism, and just crazy shit that happens, to be frank.
Unfortunately that’s really all the good I have to say.
If you aren’t someone who enjoys dark or gritty stories, and if you aren’t someone who takes pleasure in just seeing soldiers portrayed properly on film, then this really might not be for you. Honestly I have yet to realize the theme of the film, a lot of the statements made are giving mixed messages, and the main protagonist is annoying whiney whistleblower-wannabe who doesn’t even have the guts to stick to her convictions. There’s no real bad guy because everyone in the film is criminalized at some point, except for the black guy, call me racist if you want. There’s no real clear person to root for because you don’t like the main character because she’s weak and lacks conviction, you don’t wanna root for the people helping her because she constantly criminalizes them, and you can’t really root for the “bad guy” of the film, because 1.) he’s the bad guy, and 2.) he’s blaming it all on the Americans.
Not gonna lie, I actually had a couple moments where I was hoping that Emily Blunt’s character was going to die.
Although we are told Emily Blunt’s character is the main character, we end up following Benicio Del Toro’s character a lot, and it really becomes confusing who’s perspective we’re supposed to be watching from. Not only that, but it doesn’t have enough Benicio and Brolin to succeed where Blunt’s character fell flat. This is only highlighted in the end, where we are left with absolutely no one to root for and no redeeming qualities. This is almost Tarantino level of needless violence–this movie just seems to be a big excuse to make a movie about the war on drugs with no real focus on the actual story. Because this story definitely had potential.
To be honest, character decisions became predictable and cliche, and made me lose respect for the characters that had little development to begin with. That is one of the big reasons I didn’t enjoy this movie as much as I thought I would.
In the end, I am giving Sicario a 6.5/10 because it’s not really good enough to hit that 7 mark, but it’s not a horrible movie either. I would recommend it to someone who didn’t care a whole lot about a solid story and just want a good, gritty war/spy movie. Worth the 99-cent rental.