A lot of action movies can leave their audiences feeling confused and exasperated. Sicario encourages that reaction by putting its protagonist in the same position. At the beginning of a mission to hunt down a major cartel boss, FBI agent Kate Mercer (Emily Blunt) is appalled by her team’s reckless deployment of force in broad daylight in front of hundreds of civilians at a customs checkpoint. Kate insists that this is approach is completely illegal, and then Sicario reveals its hand: that is exactly the point. To go after the highest echelons of the drug trade requires entering into and getting batted around by chaos. Acknowledging and embracing that insanity is what allows Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro to get away with dangerously swaggy and scary/empathetic performances, respectively, and Emily Blunt to still be awesome despite the complete frustration of her badass style.
Jeff Malone is a voracious entertainment consumer and entertainment creator. He currently resides in New York City, where he received his Master’s in Media Studies at The New School. In addition to his pieces on TMRzoo.com and StarPulse.com, you can check out his blog (jmunney.wordpress.com), where he provides regular coverage of Community and Saturday Night Live, as well as other television, film, music, and the rest of pop culture.