I've been not-so patiently waiting for an action film this gritty since Argo or Hyena. The deep drone of the opening score itself is enough to warn you that this is a dark and engrossing watch. 

Emily Blunt adds another kick-ass character to her portfolio (see also Looper and Edge of Tomorrow which was sadly let down by Tom Cruise doing what he does worst, which is acting) as FBI Special Weapons and Tactics Teams agent Kate Macer, the leading lady in a male dominated industry who is recently recruited by a dodgy government task force aiming to take down a Mexican drug cartel, a bunch of real nasty bastards. The force is headed by Matt Graver (Josh Brolin), a cocky asshole that likes to think he's above the law, working alongside the enigmatic Alejandro Gillick (Benicio Del Toro). Gillick is the epitome of the good cop/bad cop routine all in one. He's out for revenge because the cartel in question killed his wife and daughter, and he gains this with such casual vehemence it's actually quite admirable.

Sicario was rated a 15 certificate because of the images of dead bodies, occasional strong language and violence. But really, it should've cranked it up a notch and aimed for an 18, because director Dennis Villeneuve has held back just a tad too much on the expletives and action. Filming a midnight tunnel raid scene as a POV through night vision goggles was reminiscent of modern video games, and some clever cinematography, but I refuse to accept that a team of angry agents would speak to each other and the people they are hunting in such mild discourse during such pressured circumstances.

There are only minor faux pas, such as the highly unlikely act of a Mexican drug lord driving on a main road at night without any security whatsoever. This is negligible though, because Sicario achieves the kind of intense twist and turns without straying into the ridiculous or baffling to keep the audience alert, gruesome details of struggling realities, and a sudden acceleration into turbulence that most big budget Hollywood thrillers aim for but fail to touch. Not to be missed.

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