Denis Villeneuve’s marvellous creation of the action thriller Sicario has the whole world buzzing since the much-anticipated film of autumn has been released. Sicario, meaning ‘Hitman’, is a film based on female FBI agent Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) who finds herself re-assigned in a mission to help the government stop the dangerous war on drug cartel activity between the borders of the United States and Mexico, only to be found way out of her comfort zone as she discovers more on the gruesome war on drugs and fellow agents in her field (Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin). Macer finds herself morally torn between her jurisdiction and the otherwise questionable methods of her new co-workers to make a meaningful mark on the war on drugs.
Macer is played outstandingly by one of our most loved fellow Brits, who has been smashing every acting role since day one, placing herself with a rumoured Oscar nomination for her input in such a powerful film. Furthermore, Blunt has created a significant impact on the portrayal of female characters in film. After discovering through her many interviews for the promotion of Sicario that financers proposed to the director that they will increase the films budget by a third, should they change the female protagonist to a male. Therefore, I admire Villeneuve’s decision to use a female protagonist in such a male dominated industry in both film and the FBI ; and it came as no shock that this film was successful, reinforcing the idea that action thrillers are equally as good and if not better, when a female protagonist is included.
Blunt is no stranger to complex and empowering roles in the film industry, as she played a kick- ass war hero Rita Vrataski alongside Tom Cruise in action thriller Edge of Tomorrow (2014), earning herself a well-deserved Critics Choice award for best female actress in an action movie. Blunt’s portrayal of Kate’s decent into vulnerability and morally ambiguous position in her new assignment is truly compelling. Furthermore, her perfected American accent leads its audience into the true authenticity of a female FBI agent. I have said it once, and will gladly say it again, that I have nothing but admiration and respect for such a talented actress, and hope that the rumoured proposal to Blunt for Disney’s new Mary Poppins role is true.
Del Toro delivers an authentic and excellent portrayal of a complex and troubled character Alejandro, becoming more fascinating as his past and motives are relieved throughout the film. Driven by revenge and passion to make a significant impact on the war on drugs, he must first remove the source of such a dangerous and life threatening activity. Fellow agent Matt Graver, played by Brolin, is more than happy to break the rules to make some noise in Mexico in the hope to lure those responsible for such hideous crimes out of their holes and into the hands of the FBI. Brolin, well known for Everest , The Goonies and Labor Day, was the perfect fit for such a film.
Overall, Villeneuve’s direction of the film creates heart pounding suspense for viewers, conveying an important and very real message; that until twenty percent of the population stops snorting these drugs up their noses, only then can a real impact on the war on drugs be addressed in such a way to abolish such crimes involved in illegal substances. This is no stereo typical box office thriller, but a complex and engaging film that allows viewers to really learn and consider what world they are living in, and the horrors involved in drug cartels.