The Story/The Direction:
After being recurited to join a goverment task force to bring down a powerful Mexican drug cartel, Kate (Blunt) finds that the task is going to be harder and dirtier than she thought. The people she is working with have their own mystery about them. Matt Graver (Brolin) wears flip flops to official meetings and Alejandro (del Toro) who unexpectedly joins the team and is described as a "sicario," Spanish for hitman. All of this plus the fact that she does not know what she is doing makes her worry. From a production standpoint, this film hits every mark.
Villenuve shows his real prowess for action thrillers and this film is along the lines of Michael Mann. Roger Deakins and Jóhann Jóhannsson add to this film by making it look and sound amazing. There are a lot of beautiful shots that look amazing and they taking the audience into this thrilling tale. The tone and texture of this film are only supported by Jóhannsson's score that feels very similar to Hans Zimmer's work on many Christopher Nolan films. This film comments on how the majoirty of the American popualtion have no real idea of what is really going on in this ‘war on drugs," aside from that "drugs are bad." The people who take down the "bad guys" and their methods are unknown to the mass population. Most people care about the end result and not how that is obtained. The war should be stopped and innocent civilians should no longer be killed. As the film plays out, viewers get a chance to see the push to end the war on drugs could lead to. As Kate wonders throughout the film, viewers wonder how did the country get to this point? The country is now pushing essentially an arms race as the only way to take down the cartels would be to do the things they are willing to do. Its a dark place that any war could lead to that a lot of people do not realize. As with the many historic wars, politicians state that fighting for what is honest and true will achieve victory but will it actually be as clean and pure as that? Probably not. Innocent people from both sides will be killed by bombs or bullets but this is a reality that some do not realize when it comes to war or they don't want to know it and only talk the talk, not walk the walk.
Blunt is at her best here and her moral agent, Kate, represents one the viewer and also the American people overall. As Kate, viewers are introduced to two people, Matt and Alejandro, who they know very little about but have to trust. This two men are brilliantly played by Brolin and del Toro, respectively. However, Blunt is definately the star as she mixes confidence, bewilderment, and a vulnerability that humanizes her character.
This film has a lot of exposition when it comes to the characters' backgrounds and if a detail is missed, the ending can feel underwhelming. This film while a very good thriller does only show one side of the story which honestly is opposite of the theme it tries to implement. The mayor of Juarez, the city the majority of the film takes place in, has stated that "the truth is that we are far from that point. It’s true we lived something very similar, but Ciudad Juarez it’s in a very different situation and as a Mayor I have the obligation to defend the image of our city.” This film does not establish the setting as a historic one but rather a current state of affiars. Futhermore, Villenvue/Sheridan do not address why the problems talked about in the film actually happened and the United States actual contribution to the increase in violence in Mexico. Rather, it shows the United States being an innocent "savior" that is unfortuantely a trend in Hollywood. There is no depth in the Mexican depiction aside from that it is a violent place. One could make the argument that this film is fiction however when the story itself is based on real problems and real people, both sides should be looked at. If one understands that t
If one understands that this film is fictional and that the setting it takes place in is no longer the case, this film is making a point about moral choices in a world where federal agencies have become very similar to the entities that they are trying to stop. It also comments on the morality of killing others even in extreme cases. Yes, it could be getting rid of an evil in the world but how will it effect you? Will it lead to other things? How true is the saying "an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind." This film takes place in a bleak and dark world that is worth seeing again. It looks and sounds amazing and is definately worth checking out on Bluray if haven't already.
Rating: 4.5/5.0 bowties
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