On this page I have film reviews or other film-related comments, which I will blog before they become Sprint Reviews on the s2c database. I would love to hear any comments you might have.
Reviewed on 10/24/2015
Denis Villeneuve, the director, sure knows when and how to play his trump card (see reviews for INCENDIES and PRISONERS). Because the success of SICARIO relies on its suspense, the timing of releasing important information to the viewer is essential. Sicario essentially means hitman. So, who is the hitman? Perhaps it will be easy to guess, but why is more important to find out than who.
Basically, the film fits into the "war on drugs" subgenre, similar to TRAFFIC and TRAFFIK and more recently the engaging Netflix series, NARCOS. Featuring Emily Blunt, Benicio del Toro and Josh Brolin as the "good" guys, the opening shot shows us a closeup of an Emily Blunt we have never seen before. Based on previous performances, on paper she might seem miscast in this genre, but kudos go out to her and the filmmakers for taking the chance because she really pulls off a gutsy, credible performance as the experienced drug-busting FBI agent, who soon learns how inexperienced she really is when it comes to actually tracking down a Mexican druglord. She struggles with her own definition of what is right, her own ethics when it comes to getting in the trenches with those like Brolin and del Toro, who have years of experiencing the battles with druglord terrorists.
Written in or around 300 BC, Sun Tzu's "The Art of War" says in the "Weaknesses and Strengths" chapter that "an army may be likened to water, for just as flowing water avoids the heights and hastens to the lowlands, so an army avoids strengths and strikes weaknesses. And as water shapes its flow in accordance with the ground, so an army manages its victory in accordance with the situation of the enemy. And as water has no constant form, there are in war no constant conditions. Thus, one able to gain the victory by modifying his tactics in accordance with the enemy situation may be said to be divine."