By Matthew S. Phinney

Sicario
Lionsgate (2015)
Cast: Benicio DelToro, Josh Brolin, Emily Blunt, Jon Bernthal
Director: Denis Villeneuve

I dig this movie. It’s got suspense, action, mysterious characters, and a healthy mix of blunt force awesome and calculated violence. It boasts a formidable cast of Benicio DelToro, Josh Brolin, Emily Blunt, Jon Bernthal, that guy from Burn Notice, and that guy from Black Mirror.

Beni plays the calculated super asset (Alejandro) who’s out to exact some heavy revenge on the cartel scum responsible for the murder of his wife and daughter. Josh plays the mysterious CIA squirrel (Matt) who is leveraging Alejandro’s anger and abilities to perform the tasks he’s deemed necessary in order to re-establish control of the continental drug trafficking flow. Emily plays (Kate Macy) the doe-eyed, do-gooder FBI agent that is in way over her head.

Here is the biggest detractor which I’ll mention: In the first half of the movie we’re on board with Kate Macy and her role in the story as it unfolds. We get a swap out of sorts with Alejandro around the start of the second half and Kate becomes this byproduct of his agenda.

It’s a little discombobulating finding yourself doing a hard reset on who is the main character. Even if you don’t mind switching POV to Alejandro, it still leaves a taste of why was I following Kate for half the movie instead of this pipe hittin’ s.o.b.?

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I’d love to hear the SOFREP community’s thoughts on the tactics used in this movie. For all intents and purposes though, the action was perfectly entertaining. I’ve heard plenty of grumblings about Blunt’s character and her seemingly endless hesitation and impediment to the mission. I think it’s necessary to note that I think she represents the “Every Person” perspective in the situation.

The high-speed inclined can grasp the necessity of the mission and its actions. To Average Joe or Jane, this would be an utter shock to the senses. She represents what’s left of that innocent humanity in the movie. As Sicario so starkly states, she has found herself in the world of wolves… and she is not a wolf. The amount of internal conflict created by the external conflicts will leave each individual viewer with a different perspective on the movie and plenty to reflect on afterward.

Lastly, this movie wouldn’t emanate such raw grittiness without the beating heart of the soundtrack. A throwback, simplistic symphony reminiscent of Jaws, the tracks set the ominous tone of the circumstances and makes the viewer feel what they’re seeing. Sicario is the equivalent of throwing on your flip flops and plate carrier and smoking a Havana Cuban whilst sitting atop a stack of powder kegs. Get you some.


Matthew S. Phinney: affectionately called Guttas. Born and raised Boston, MA. Currently living in Albuquerque, NM. Two-time Golden Gloves boxing champion. New England Invitational boxing champion. Winner of the Discovery Channel’s boxing TV show “The Fighters.” Head coach to UFC top 10 middleweight fighter, Jorge Rivera. Instructor for RangerUp’s Train the Troops tour training U.S. Marines at Pendleton, Miramar, and Yuma. Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor. Mentored by George Hand in the art of operations against human trafficking. Movie buff. Wine enthusiast.