Morality & tension come to the forefront of Denis Villeneuve’s masterful venture into the crime/thriller genre.
“You know what the beauty is of you being so beat to a pulp? No one’s gonna notice a few more scratches.”
The lines have been blurred between good and evil, and all that’s left is beige-tinted uncertainty. Right from Sicario‘s opening moments, you’re gripped by an unwavering sense of unease. What is Kate getting herself into? Who is Alejandro? Why is Graver wearing sandals? Something’s not right – and that feeling intensifies with every passing minute, creeping up the back of your neck, and sending constant chills down your spine. Once in a while, the pressure bottles to a breaking point, resulting in a blistering action sequence – but there’s no respite. The tension simply builds back up, and that uneasy feeling never goes away. It’s a never-ending nightmare.
A beautifully shot nightmare, mind you. Deakins does one hell of a job, blending dimly-lit conversations at dusk with intimidating, sweeping aerial landscapes and a creative use of night/heat-vision for the tunnel shootout. The visual artistry is complemented and accentuated by Jóhann Jóhannsson’s haunting orchestral influence. His sinister music weaves in and out of the movie, contributing to the growing tension and tormenting the viewer with further discomfort. Denis Villeneuve expertly marries his crew’s audio & visual talents to craft an utterly compelling thriller out of Taylor Sheridan’s raw, hard-hitting tale. And the mood is uncompromisingly bleak.
Josh Brolin’s smug, playful, sinister, piece-of-shit CIA agent Matt Graver, might just be my favourite performance in this film – and that’s saying a hell of a lot when you consider the strength of both Emily Blunt & Benicio Del Toro’s performances. Together, they make for an outstanding trifecta.