Still more lazy thoughts from this one…

Thoughts on Villenueve’s SICARIO

sicario

Where to begin with Denis Villenueve’s SICARIO. I’ve not seen all of his films…yet…but he continues to captivate and strangely enthrall his viewers. Me, included. This year’s release no different. When I first saw the trailer for this a few months back, a tale in our longest, most expensive war, I was surely going to see it the weekend the film opened. Believe it or not, it exceeded my expectations.

Beautifully shot, unsurprisingly, by Roger Deakins, and mesmerizingly scored by Jóhann Jóhannsson (someone I’ve only been briefly exposed to via ‘The Theory of Everything’ work), Villenueve has crafted one of the best films of the year, IMO. A film I must-say one might have expected from the likes of a Michael Mann, and far from the unevenness that plagued the Cormac McCarthy-Ridley Scott endeavor, ‘The Counselor’, but in that unique style fast becoming a trademark of the French-Canadian film director-writer.

Once again Emily Blunt and Josh Brolin stand out in a marvelous cast, but it’s a return of Benecio del Toro to form that was truly unexpected and appreciated. Tamping down del Toro’s often overeager scene-chewing tendencies of late some filmmakers let him get away with being key here. Letting his charisma naturally come forth.

For people who appreciated author Don Winslow‘s stellar work of the Drug War with THE POWER OF THE DOG and it’s sequel, THE CARTEL (my favorite novel of the year so far), then this film will help those of you waiting till their film adaptations come to pass. Readers will instantly recognize aspects the film and those novels share, but it’s a unique take well worth your time.

So glad my Facebook friend Juhani Nurmi reminded me to do this on Saturday instead of Sunday. Meaning, not only to put off delaying screening it, but afford moi a chance to catch it again before the weekend was out. Yeah, it’s one of those, folks.

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24 Responses to “Thoughts on Villenueve’s SICARIO”

  1. ruth

    I have only seen ENEMY from Villenueve but his career seems to be on fire these days. I didn’t know Deakins’ the DP, oh boy, add the fact that Emily Blunt in the lead, I’m looking forward to seeing this even more!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • le0pard13

      ‘Prisoners’ is something special. Moody, beautiful shot, full of twists and revelations, but disturbing on many levels. First one of Villenueve’s I saw. Won’t be the last, though. Thanks, Ruth. 🙂

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  2. Jordan Dodd

    Definitely ‘one of them’. I saw two advance screenings and am waiting for proper release in Australia to watch it again. What a savage movie! And you are so right about Del Toro, goddamn how intense was he??

    I just wrote about this movie, but found your site via Ruth’s flixchatter. Glad to have found your site mate 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. Auden

    I haven’t seen Sicario yet, but it looks like another Hollywood version of the Drug War. For a real look into the Drug War, I highly recommend the documentary, Kingdom of Shadows, by Bernardo Ruiz. It’s one thing to be entertained and another to be informed, especially on important issues.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • le0pard13

      Thank you, Auden, for the recommendation. I will go looking for that documentary, another art form I appreciate. Yes, this is another film studio look at the Drug War. Some are better than others, though. YMMV. Still, from time to time, filmmakers can make us look upon, and make keen comment on, subjects many would ignore. Hell, “genre” movies have been doing that for years, as have crime fiction writers. I think that’s the case here. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  4. Ted Saydalavong (@TSayda)

    Totally agree with you about this film Michael, it’s such a great thriller! One of my favorites this year, it reminded me of NO COUNTRY FOR OLD MEN and Del Toro’s character is like a cross between James Bond and Anton Chigurh.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    • le0pard13

      Glad to hear, Ted. I had a feeling you’d “really dig it” (The Warriors, 1979). Good call on NCFOM and Del Toro. The film certainly has that savage vibe to it. Villenueve turning into quite the filmmaker. Thanks, my friend.

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      Reply
  5. Jay

    Matt caught this one at TIFF and wasn’t blown away, but I’m interested in seeing it – I guess it depends on your expectations a bit.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  6. Mark Walker

    Great to hear this appealed to you, Michael. I’m very eager to see it. Villenueve is a director that going from strength to strength. Bring on Blade Runner 2. I hope his good form extends that film.

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