Emily Blunt in a “look at my acting chops!” role. Josh Brolin as a smug jerk, or in other words, a typical Josh Brolin role. Benicio Del Toro as creepy as always.
BQB here with a a review of the latest Fall movie season Oscar contender.
I know, 3.5. I know. I’m stuck in the middle of a zombie apocalypse. I should be doing something more productive than watching movies. But what can I do? The zombies are out there, I’m stuck in Price Town. Might as well make the best of it, especially when my alien buddy has an intergalactic communications device (aka a space phone) that allows me to watch top notch Emily Blunt films.
Aliens love Emily Blunt. And to be blunt, so do I.
Wow, I bet Emily’s never heard that joke before.
OK. So let’s dive in. As the opening sequence of this film explains to us, a “sicario” was once the term used in Jerusalem to describe the super devout who chased Romans from their homeland, but today it has become the Mexican word for “hit man.”
By the way, just now, Apple spellchecker really wanted me to write “pit man” for some reason. I hate it when I have to argue with my computer just to get it to say what I want it to. I swear to Christ this is how Skynet begins. Up your butt, Apple.
No more distractions. The film begins with Emily as FBI agent Kate Macer, an FBI anti-kidnapping specialist leading a mission to take a house that is alleged to be holding a drug cartel’s kidnapping victims.
Only thing is, it turns out the house is actually a house of horrors, with dead cartel victims lining the walls.
Emily is then recruited to assist a special task force with the apprehension of Manuel Diaz, the big time drug kingpin behind the death house.
Do you ever get confused when you watch a hardcore crime movie? I know when I watched True Detective, Season 2 I felt like I needed a flowchart and a slide rule just to keep up with what was going on.
Well, with this movie, you’re in luck, because you’re not the only one who’s confused. Emily/Kate is too.
Josh Brolin (aka Matt Graver) is some type of G-man in charge of the task force. Is he a spy? Does he work for the CIA? Is he military? Is he someone else entirely?
Meanwhile, the task force’s biggest asset is Alejandro aka Benicio. The same questions apply. Is he a CIA agent? Is he some kind of Mexican spy, a Juan Bond, if you will? (Oh come on, PC police, that was funny and you know it.) Is he military? Someone else?
The point is, Kate ends up working with these people and a) she has no idea who they are and b) they won’t tell her. In fact, Matt/Josh seems to relish holding back details of what’s going on vis a vis their mission, only eeking out just enough details to keep Kate from walking away, but otherwise she’s kept in the dark.
Finally! A protagonist in a serious crime drama who’s as confused as I am. I felt for Emily in this one. The whole film she’s like “What’s going on?” and I was replying, “I don’t know Emily, but I hope you find out. Don’t trust these dudes, girl.”
All in all, great acting, a gripping plot that draws you in. It gets you on a roll with questions and if you hang in there, they are answered.
On top of all that, it does offer a stunning indictment of the whole inter-border drug war. Nasty business. Don’t do drugs, kids.
I hate to give too much away but there was one quote that caught me. I’ll paraphrase. Basically, twenty-percent of the population are hardcore drug users and if we could get them to quit the cartels would be out of work.
So quit today, all you dope fiends. Only you can stop Mexican mafia murder houses.
One thing that made me happy was seeing Jeffrey Donovan in a supporting role. You might remember he was Michael Westen in Burn Notice. I loved that show. He’s a good actor. Hope to see him in more stuff. I hear he’s in the next season of Fargo.
That’s all I have, 3.5. To discuss it any further would be to spoil the whole thing. Go see it.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go ride out the zombie apocalypse.