As the new trailer for Sicario tells us, the word is Spanish for 'hitman.' This intense crime drama already made waves at this year's Cannes Film Festival. The film is directed by maestro Denis Villeneuve, who recently gave us two great films in Prisoners and Enemy. Both films were highly admired by not only myself, but the majority of the cinema world in general. The same can now be said for Sicario.
Villeneuve has corralled a quietly impressive cast for the upcoming thriller-drama. The film stars Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Josh Brolin and Jon Bernthal. The plot involves an FBI agent (Blunt) from Tucson, Arizona who travels across the border to Mexico with a pair of mercenaries to track down a ruthless drug lord (aren't they all?).
As I mentioned above, Sicario premiered at Cannes to critical acclaim. The film currently holds a 87% 'Fresh' rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 15 reviews, with an average score of 7.8/10. Praise was given to Villeneuve's directing, Taylor Sheridan's writing, Roger Deakins' cinematography, and the performances of Emily Blunt and Benicio Del Toro especially.
Lionsgate will have limited release of the film in the United States on September 18, 2015 and a wide release on September 25, 2015.
For me, the two biggest draws for the film are Villeneuve and Blunt. The 47-year-old French-Canadian director has had a relatively quiet career until recently with films like Polytechnique (2009) and Incendies (2010) putting him on the map as a major filmmaker. In February 2015, we heard the announcement that Villeneuve would even direct the sequel to Blade Runner. Harrison Ford will reprise his role, and it will take place several decades after the original, with Ridley Scott set to produce the film for Warner Bros.
32-year-old Emily Blunt is in the process of revitalizing her career. She's obviously gorgeous, yes, but recently it's been her action film roles that have gained her a massive amount of attention. You'll notice in the trailer that she looks very convincing in her role, appearing very at home in an action role. If you need proof, check out last year's Edge of Tomorrow, and Looper (2012). Blunt isn't afraid to get her hands dirty and play rough. She's a formidable opponent.
In honor of the new trailing dropping for Sicario, let's talk about the eight best movie world hitmen of all-time!
8. Nikita, Nikita (1990)
Played by: Anne Parillaud
Anne Parillaud owns this role in the original 1990 Luc Besson film. It helps that she looks like a complete natural wielding a firearm, really making you believe that she's a ferocious killer. Nikita is a cold, merciless killing machine, and totally badass.
7. Vincent, Collateral (2004)
Played by: Tom Cruise
One of Tom Cruise's very best performances! Vincent is a hitman who doesn't mess around. He's on a clear schedule, and Jamie Foxx's cab driver has no choice but to drive him to his targets. Vincent is a deranged man, but he's the kind of villain movie audiences get attached to. You'd think someone as coldblooded as Vincent would be a turn off, but Cruise pulls the part off with style and wit.
6. Ah Jong (Jeffrey), The Killer (1989)
Played by: Chow Yun-fat
The bullets fly fast and frantic in this John Woo film from 1989, therefore, so does Yun-fat's Jeffrey. However, this particular film portrays the hitman as a more thoughtful human being in a tale of redemption.
5. Angel Eyes, The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (1966)
Played by: Lee Van Cleef
This portrayal set the gold standard for evil hitmen in movies. The character is completely uncaring and heartless. He has a job to do and he's going to get paid for doing it. Nothing more, nothing less. However, actor Lee Van Cleef brings this part to life, creating a legendary character.
4. Jackie Cogan, Killing Them Softly (2012)
Played by: Brad Pitt
Jackie Cogan is an instant hitman classic thanks to the brilliant performance by Brad Pitt. Cogan, much like a lot of hitmen, doesn't mess around. He's here to do a job, and goddamnit, you better pay him before he goes off on some long rant about how American capitalism sucks.
Cogan's philosophy is a little different than others. While he has no bones to pick about killing, Cogan likes to "kill them softly - from a distance." A hitman has no time for personal attachments.
3. Anton Chigurh, No Country for Old Men (2007)
Played by: Javier Bardem
One of the best performances of the past decade, Javier Bardem's Anton Chigurh is terrifying yet entirely fascinating. Bardem earned a very well deserved Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his portrayal in No Country for Old Men. Complete with a bizarre bowl-cut hairdo and captive bolt gun, Chigurh is the very definition of coldblooded.
2. T-800, The Terminator (1984)
Played by: Arnold Schwarzenegger
Portraying the only non-human hitman on the list, the T-800 is nonetheless one of the most iconic movie hitmen thanks to Arnold Schwarzenegger's brilliant performance. Funny thing is, he does this by simply putting on shades and dressing in leather. The T-800 is guided by a computer to be as cold and calculating as possible. So, out of all the hitmen listed, the T-800 is perhaps the most ruthless of them all.
1. Vincent Vega and Jules Winnfield, Pulp Fiction (1994)
Played by: John Travolta (Vega) and Samuel L. Jackson (Winnfield)
I know, I know, I'm cheating. But how can you not have Vincent and Jules together in the same list? Splitting them up just doesn't seem right to me. They both feed off each other in Quentin Tarantino's 1994 classic. Jules is cool and slick, yet if you better not piss him off. There's a dangerously thoughtful side to Jules, which you find out in the end... uh, I mean the beginning.
Vincent Vega is the role that revitalized John Travolta's career. He's the King of Cool in Pulp Fiction. Travolta pays homage to his dancing in Saturday Night Fever (1977), while playing someone who'd rather have a cheeseburger than brandish his firearm - but don't test him, because he will.
These eight, okay, nine infamous hitmen have me totally pumped to see what thrilling drama Sicario has in store for us! If you need anything, I'll be on the edge of my seat waiting.