Indiana Daily Student

Blunt and Del Toro are incredible in one of the best movies of the year

Emily BLunt stars in "Sicario." (Richard Foreman Jr./Lionsgate)
Emily BLunt stars in "Sicario." (Richard Foreman Jr./Lionsgate)

“Sicario” didn’t end with a bang.

It just ended with a halt, leaving me wanting so much more.

But what it gave me was masterful.

Nothing really changes in “Sicario.” Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin can shoot their guns and stomp their feet all they want, but what’s a tiny government task force compared to the entire Mexican drug cartel?

The movie begins with Emily Blunt’s character, Kate Macer. An idealistic FBI Agent, Macer is looking for two recent kidnapping victims. She stumbles upon a house crammed with corpses and explosives set to detonate in the backyard shed.

Macer’s hard work allows her to join a group of elite agents, led by Josh Brolin’s Matt Graver and Benicio Del Toro’s Alejandro Gillick, who are searching for the men responsible.

Macer acts as a conduit for the audience to enter this foreign world.

Her reasonable reactions to what’s unfolding around her gives the audience an outlet to vent their frustrations for the reprehensible actions committed by everyone else.

I would say Blunt is the best actress in action films right now, but that’s a lie. Between her roles in “Looper”, “Edge of Tomorrow” and now “Sicario”, Blunt, to me, is the best actress. Period.

Her ability to show emotion through her eyes is crucial to her character. In action sequences, words cannot always be said, so it is through her looks and gaze that the audience can understand what her response to a situation will be.

Blunt’s brilliant acting is not alone. Del Toro is also the best he’s ever been. His character starts out as a rook in the overall game, but as the movie progresses, he turns out to be the king on the board.

I have never seen a movie quite like “Sicario”. The music is sparse and, when there is ambient sound, it has a percussive “Gravity”-like beat.

The silence is haunting at times. Nothing pops out at you, but the absence of sound leading to an explosion caused me to jolt in my seat quite a few times.

The storyline is simple yet complicated. This seems like an oxymoron, but everything is laid out in the first act but requires patience to get to it.

Shots never linger because there’s one story to tell — Macer’s. But that doesn’t mean that all of the possible stories have been told.

One scene in particular, as the covert operatives drive through Mexico, stood out to me. The background was rich and luxurious, but the car never stopped.

The landscape was filled with lost papers for missing persons, newspaper clippings of current events and everyday working-class people continuing in their everyday life. To stop, the camera did not.

Director Denis Villeneuve did a powerful thing. He told one story and let the others unfold in the background.

“Sicario” is an action, crime, drama thriller, but none of these accurately describe what it is.

It’s a ride.

There are twists and turns, nausea midway through, screams to be heard, and then it stops.

You get off the ride and try to think how it was constructed. What track led where? How fast were you going? Do you have to throw up?

And then you remember how much fun the ride was and you think, “I need to do that again.”

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