This weekend, Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin return in Sicario: Day of the Soldado, but before we dig into the anticipated sequel, let’s take a step back and look at Denis Villeneuve’s 2015 movie that started it all.
Sicario tells the story of Kate Macer, a law enforcement officer tasked with tracking the activity of Mexican cartels. When she is put on a task force with two mysterious agents and is sent across the border, Kate experiences limitless horrors that make her question the meaning of her principals and ethics.
All of the acting in Sicario is top notch. Everyone from the main cast to the extras create perfect scenes that make the whole movie feel so real. Josh Brolin’s levity creates some dark humor that adds to the ambiguous elements of his character. Benicio del Toro is just as intriguing as he is scary. His calm and collected additude makes him completely unpredictable throughout the whole movie.
Villeneuve gives us one heck of a story with Sicario. The characters are so multilayered and interesting. The mysteries of the movie are revealed little pieces at a time with great pacing. There are so many moments of high tension that make this film seem like a rollercoaster of an experience. Villeneuve also uses this story and characters to illustrate some philosophies of life. Sicario reflects a lot on the blurred lines of morality, the naivety of an idealistic life, and the similarities between chaos and order. The fantastic writing makes Sicario feel like half action/thriller and half philosophic arthouse film, which makes it stand out from the competition.
Villeneuve also uses this film to display superb cinematography. The wide shots of the Mexican border landscape really give you a sense of scope for the story. The cinematography also blends with the writing by using visual symbols throughout the movie. One of the most prominent symbols is the use of specific colors, like blue or beige, to display where certain characters stand on the moral spectrum. The film also uses wonderful sound mixing in its most intense moments. Some scenes even incorporate the lack of music to build the intensity of the dialogue. Every planned element of this movie goes together like peanut butter and jelly.
I can’t really think of anything bad to say about this movie. Sicario is a must-see film that combines great visuals and an amazing story to make a modern work of art.
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