Before I get accused of someone who has ADHD or is only into action films I was not expecting this film to have action sequences at all. However I did expect more from the guy who directed Prisoners.
Sicario does have some tense and thrilling moments especially in the beginning. There were 5 of them in total. I don't know about you but being able to remember and count these moments is not a good sign. If a film was tense throughout there would be too many too count. And that simply is not the case. The biggest problem of this film that it is counting on the plot and nothing else. But what if the plot is not that interesting? What if you already know what the plot is going to reveal? Anybody who has been following the news on a regular basis and has been watching cartel related films already will know what this film is trying to tell. Seriously if you are so surprised at how this film unfolds then you need to ask yourself why you are so uninformed. You just have to type in the drug trade into any search program of the internet and you will get overwhelmed with the information about this topic. 98 percent of the plot is based on these supposedly super secret revelations.
Even if you never read or heard anything about the drug trade you could have guessed right from the moment when Emily Blunt's character is freaking out. Kate Macer who gets recruited to take part into a special team is oblivious. She is supposed to be intelligent and capable. At least that is what we are told. She never ever demonstrates this. Because apart from what you might except this is not about her. She just serves as the one the audience can identify with. The one who is innocent and ignorant and who will be forced to be confronted with some harsh truth. This gets increasingly difficult because she keeps crying and whining to a point that I wished someone would just shoot her. Yes she is that annoying. Anybody who claims that she has given a top notch performance don't know what they are talking about. Speaking of performances. There is only one that matters. That of Benicio Del Toro as Alejandro. Unfortunately while important he is not in this film as much as he should. Maybe the director thought he would be more mysterious and interesting that way. With an actor like Benicio you don't need to artificially create an environment or plot to do so. He is always interesting. Actually I think director Denis Villeneuve has undermined his performance by giving Emily Blunt so much exposure. Apart from Benicio all the other characters are insignificant. They are all just there to tell the plot and nothing else.
Like I said, most of Sicario is plot based. This supposedly brilliant plot is extremely thin containing surprises and reveals that actually aren't surprising at all if you could be bothered to read a newspaper once in a while. Another focus of the plot seems to be the destruction and devastation caused by the drug cartels and what needs to be done to set thing right in this war on drugs. It's like this film tries us to say that this is the only way to deal with the problems. And I say bullshit to that claim. There is only one way to stop this foolish war on drugs which is the legalization of drugs. With this measure you would annihilate the cartels and their influence and every crime related to this would stop. But of course this won't ever happen because of the greed for power and money.
Sicario does not offer anything else note worthy. The few tense moments aren't nearly enough to captivate you. You will only be impressed by the plot if you are uninformed. Characterization is weak and most of the time you will be bored out of your mind unless Benicio appears on the screen. Only there is not enough of him. Would I say that this film is super bad? No, I mean it's decent enough. But in no shape or form is this deserving of the praise and hype it is getting.
Want to see a real good political film (recent) that also concerns the drug trade go watch Kill The Messenger.