There’s no sugarcoating it: Sicario is the kind of movie Donald Trump supporters would love (that is, if they were smart). It makes a strong case that the Wild West of drug cartels and revenge killings is just lurking behind the border, and that Mexico is the land of lawless chaos. But make no mistake: the U.S. is just as implicated in this mess, and the great thing about Sicario is that it doesn’t shy away from serving you a brutal truth: upstanding do-gooders, such as Emily Blunt’s character, can’t stomach the ugly reality and only make things worse.
And that’s why I couldn’t help but love this movie: not just because of the nail-biting atmosphere and the threatening soundscapes (though they are awesome), and not because it is refreshing to see a female lead in a proper action thriller about drug cartels (though that is awesome, too, and Emily Blunt is a fantastic actress). But because the movie eloquently plays with expectations and stereotypes, and completely subverts the usual premise of similar movies: that being a non-corrupt, upstanding individual who is fearless and strong will ultimately lead to success. Sicario is too relentless, too uncompromising and cynical to go down that route.
Emily Blunt’s character is no Erin Brockovich, but even if she were, she would be an Erin Brockovich risking her life, only to end up standing knee-deep in a river pumped full of poison. Except that river would stretch all the way from Arizona down to Colombia…