Sicario

On Thursday night I went to see “Sicario”.

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It’s interesting how you can go from hating and actor to loving them. The first time I saw Emily Blunt in a movie was in a 2006 straight to DVD movie called “Irresistible”. She was horrendous in it. I didn’t see how she had a future. Then I saw her later that year in “The Devil Wears Prada” and I fell in love with her.

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I realized that her poor performance in “Irresistible” was more because of the movie than because of her, after all even Susan Sarandon wasn’t very good in “Irresistible”. The reason I mention my early thoughts on Emily Blunt is because there was a time when I would have avoided a movie with her but now she was the primary reason I wanted to see “Sicario”. I was intrigued with the idea of seeing her in a crime/action film.

The plot of “Sicario” is pretty complicated to explain so I’ll just go with the basics. Blunt’s character is named Kate Macer and she works for the FBI and she deals with kidnappings.

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After an exciting sequence at the beginning of the movie she gets pushed into volunteering for an operation involving the Mexican drug cartel. She doesn’t really understand what the mission is and neither do we but as the film goes on it becomes clear to both Kate and the viewers that the mission is, at best, questionable. The details of the story are complex enough that I would like to see it again just so I could focus on the story and putting together all the pieces knowing what happens at the end.

Emily Blunt did a fine job. Unfortunately her performance and her character are not quite the Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling in “The Silence of the Lambs” that the movie needed to be truly excellent. I liked Kate but I found her to be too passive and reactive a lot of the time, but then again I think it’s a realistic portrayal of how somebody would react in a situation like the one Kate finds herself in. The two other important performances come from Josh Brolin, who is good but not amazing, and Benicio de Toro. I have very mixed feelings about Benicio del Toro. I thought his Oscar for 2000’s “Traffic” was not deserved but I did think his nomination for 2003’s “21 Grams” was worthy of the recognition.

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He is good in this film but both his role and the movie are a little too similar to “Traffic” for me to really be that impressed by it.

I wanted to be blown away by Emily Blunt’s performance and by “Sicario” itself but I wasn’t. However, that doesn’t mean it’s not a good movie, it is a good movie and is worth seeing by anybody who likes the actors involved or quality filmmaking.

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