Sicario, we are told, means hitman. And like the best of assassins, this movie is ruthless and relentless, never quite showing its hand until the last moments.
When an attempted hostage rescue goes hideously wrong, idealistic FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) is offered the chance to join a cross-agency team aiming to hit the drugs trade a little closer to home. The viewer then follows Kate’s perspective as she’s thrust into the action without a clue to what’s actually going on – the only certainty being that the further it goes, the more doubts she has.
I found it interesting that Kate is both the newcomer to a well-bonded team, and the only woman. Was this to make her even more of an outsider? I did find her naivety a little ‘meh’ at one point: threatening dangerous people isn’t a clever way to ensure you walk away from a situation – but no spoilers! Perhaps the character needs to be a little too ‘clean’ like that, to highlight the reality being thrust in our faces from the rest of the characters and plot.
A word, too, about the cinematography: it is gorgeous, throwing scenes of glorious landscape as almost abstract beauty at us in stark contrast to the ugliness of the theme and people.
Although the pace is unhurried, this was gripping cinema. I’m slightly surprised that there’s a sequel mooted, but only because this says what it needs to already.
Released: 8th October 2015
Running time: 121 minutes
Rated: 15 (although as ever, I’m surprised that ratings are so low these days – bloody and violent, surely this would have been an 18 not so long ago? I’m clearly getting old!)
My rating: 8/10