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Sicario Is Simply One of The Best Movies That I have Seen In Years
Sicario Is Simply One of The Best Movies That I have Seen In Years….
I can remember the first time I saw The Usual Suspects, Tombstone, Unforgiven, One False Move, and now to add the notable list… Dennis Villenueve’s gritty, suspense, crime-drama, Sicario. Sicario, like most of the movies on my vaunted list, is a gem that I discovered - which is far above many of the movies that seem to have had unlimited budgets - because of its script, its acting, and its directing. When Sicario begins, we see the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) on a stake-out, fighting the internecine drug battle of losing operatives and only neutralizing low-level drug dealing gambits, while the malignant, murdering heads of the narcotic snake live in luxurious fortresses, along with their respective phalanxes of armed security. To underscore what a losing battle the DEA is fighting is echoed by one of the characters in the movie when he opined that he had two years of increased drug prosecutions, yet there was no marked difference on the ‘streets’ due to the fact that there was still ample availability of drugs and the attendant social ills like police corruption, overdoses, and violence mostly borne out of turf gang warfare.
The acting in Sicario, as stated earlier, is excellent. Among the cast is the great Benecio Del Toro - I know him from a similar wondrous movie, Traffic; Del Toro’s character is very mysterious… but all I am going to say is that he is the kind of character that is so Machiavellian… that one is ambivalent rooting for him. Emily Blunt is the moral center of the movie, but whose naïveté - which is a detriment in these environs - is shown in the never ending drug war where it is difficult to say who the good or bad guys are - it is in these moments too where the Sicario’s script is superior. There is a scene where Miss Blunt’s character is raging in righteous anger against the ‘questionable’ tactics used to glean information from a captured drug lord and she is told that she is not cut out for the fight because, she is, in essence, the proverbial sheep among wolves and the chilling fact is that it is the truth in the movie and real life.
Speaking of the brilliant script written by Taylor Sheridan - I personally expect an Oscar nomination - the pacing is just right and the dialogue befits those that are in the law enforcement/Cloak & Dagger field. Take for instance where we hear one of the operatives saying that what was about to happen on a pending mission will be like: “Fourth of July on steroids;” or where another character lauds the fact that questionable methods of enforcing the drug laws are needed until we, as Americans, figure out how to wean 20% of our population off drugs. Taylor, in tandem with the director, must have done excellent research too, because, in Sicario, when someone is killed via a gun, those of us who have been soldiers see, here, and recognize the familiar ‘tap, tap’… meaning that one bullet to the head and one to the heart. Normally, most movies mess this up by having bullets wasted and sprayed all over the place. Mr. Taylor’s script also has the theme of vengeance flowing through it and I know, as a Christian, that vengeance is such a sweet nectar that God wants it all for Him-self (Romans 12:19); so it is with one of the characters in Sicario and when vengeance is had, it is one of the most disturbing, satisfying resolution one will ever see in a movie.
The directing by Dennis Villenueve is stellar… so much so that what one sees on the screen is so visceral that one can feel it while sitting in the movie theatre watching Sicario. Case in point, there is a seminal scene where the DEA and Special Opts are going through a tunnel that links Arizona to a particular area of Mexico; in this tunnel are bad guys, armed to the hilt, which causes anyone watching the movie to actually experience the disorienting claustrophobia (going through said tunnel) and the palpable angst - my watching of that scene made me felt as if I were on an escalator and while ascending, having multiple loaded shotguns pointing down at me. Another area of the brilliant auteur work in Sicario is the gritty visuals; here, such a scene is uncompromisingly depicted when United States operatives go into Juarez, Mexico and are met with the gruesome images of actual mutilated bodies… hanging from lamp posts, underscoring and punctuating the wanton drug violence that can rival the atrocities that are being done in the war theatres where ISIS is fighting.
Sicario leaves us with the raging debate on how far must we go to fight the drug the lords within the benign confines of our Constitution… knowing that the drug lords have no such restraints. I for one have heard this debate before concerning the so called torture of terrorist and like one of the characters in Sicario, I am almost Machiavellian on this issue, whereby, in the terror battle, the ends almost justifies the means. I know of the silly refrain that is being parroted by the vain-glorious idiots of Hollywood and the biased media: that torture does not work… speaking in absolutes, curiously, only on this topic. But to those who believe that torture never works: why is that many of our CIA operatives carry cyanide on their person?!
In the years to come, this is what we are going to be debating as the drug violence increasingly cross our borders. To that end, at the conclusion of Sicario, we are warned that Juarez, Mexico is coming here to America - meaning that all the gruesome bloodletting and murders we have heard about or seen depicted on Television like the brilliant fictional show, ‘Breaking Bad’ - and no doubt that those who will read this movie review who have resided or are residing in the states that border Mexico probably know that indeed, Juarez, Mexico is coming or it is already here!