Extra DVD

Sicario (Cert 15)

Starring: Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Daniel Kaluuya, Raoul Trujillo.

Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) is part of the FBI’s Special Weapons and Tactics team, who are at the forefront of the war against drugs on American soil. Flanked by her partner Reggie Wayne (Daniel Kaluuya), Kate storms a safe house and uncovers dozens of rotting corpses. Soon after, a government agent named Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) asks Kate to join his top-secret task force, which intends to cripple the drugs cartel fronted by Rafael (Raoul Trujillo) from the top down.

Haunted by the loss of men under her command, Kate willingly signs up and she heads to El Paso for her briefing, where she learns that she will be venturing onto Mexican soil.

A Colombian former prosecutor (Benicio Del Toro) with a personal vendetta joins the task force. Bullets fly and Kate’s conscience is spattered in blood. Sicario gradually tightens the screws on our frayed nerves until we’re begging for mercy.

At the blackened heart of the film is a tour-de-force performance from British actress Blunt, whose steely-nerved heroine might have to sacrifice more than her idealism in the crucible of machismo and political double-dealing.

Scriptwriter Taylor Sheridan sidesteps glib solutions to a complex global epidemic and skilfully weaves together sinewy subplots involving morally flawed characters on both sides of the Mexican border.

Desperation drips like rivulets of sweat from every expertly crafted frame and French-Canadian director Denis Villeneuve heightens our discomfort with thrillingly orchestrated action set pieces including a mesmerising finale that exposes sins under the cover of darkness using night vision and thermal imaging cameras.

Rating: 4/5