2015 is well on its way to becoming a very nostalgic year for movie lovers everywhere. With the largest success stories at the box office being about the return of a legendary Road Warrior and a sentimental tour around a notorious theme park, 2015 has stepped into yesteryear. But, that's all about to change with Denis Villeneuve’s new thriller, Sicario, slipping its first trailer across the border, wielding an armed and intimidating Emily Blunt along with it.
Having a reputation for making movies that demand a stiff drink and a rethink of whether or not there’s any good left in the world after watching them, the Incendies and Prisoners filmmaker looks to be in the same unforgiving mood here. Sicario looks bleak, unflinching, and so close to the bone you can smell the marrow... Here’s five reasons why that’s all something to look forward to.
1. Blunt Force Trauma
Being impressively selective in picking her roles, Emily Blunt has slowly but surely become a talent worth your attention. Since that one time the Devil wore Prada, the Golden Globe-winning actress has not only shared, but has stolen the screen from the likes of Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in Looper, and catapulted herself to the top ranks of female action stars alongside Tom Cruise in Edge of Tomorrow.
Channeling her inner Ripley as a Full Metal Bitch in the Doug Liman alien-invaded Groundhog Day, Sergeant Rita Rose Vrataski was solid proof of what could be done when a heroine was handled correctly. Killing alien invaders in droves - and looking like a true badass while doing so - you easily see why she was rumored to be the first pick for Marvel’s Black Widow, and a fan favorite for Captain Marvel. But, can she replicate that success again? Can the same thing happen to one tough-cut woman twice? All proof screams a resounding 'Yes!' Especially when you consider the director dishing out the duties, it is almost of no doubt that Emily Blunt will make our hearts pound (and melt) again.
2. Sharpening the Blade (Runner)
Villeneuve might be a name you’re unfamiliar with, but it's definitely one you should get to know. Already proving himself with a near flawless track record to date - Prisoners is a personal favorite, whilst Incendies left me a shivering wreck - Sicario looks like it will be a greatly engaging experience that film fans, especially Blade Runner fans, are not going to want to miss out on.
It's apparent that Villeneuve has a skill for building worlds a few shades darker than our own in his movies, which makes him a fitting choice in directors for one that Ridley Scott originally had a hand in crafting. Expected to arrive in 2016, Villeneuve will be revisiting the world of the Replicants in the untitled Blade Runner sequel. Working with such coveted material, Blade Runner could be his most challenging endeavor yet. Sicario may very well be the required viewing needed to prove that he’s up to the task.
In-between the brief and bullet-riddled gunfights, this new teaser collects some simple but striking scenes courtesy of Villeneuve’s routine and hugely respected cinematographer, Roger Deakins. Casting his eye on the majority of the Cohen Brothers back catalogue, as well as the likes of Skyfall and The Shawshank Redemption, Deakins has now found a partner in cinematic crime in Villeneuve.
The last of his 14 Oscar nominations were for his work on Villeneuve’s Prisoners, which looks to be repeating itself with Sicario. From the dust swirling moments as it settles, to Blunt having the life choked out of her in a particularly harrowing scene, Sicario doesn’t just look like a good watch, but a bloody gorgeous one at that.
4. Behind Every Strong Woman…
Not only is Emily Blunt in undoubtably brilliant form, she's also in impeccable company with the band of supporting talent that'll be shooting up the joint right beside her. Coincidentally all having made recent appearances in the MCU, accompanying the woman that could have been the Widow, Blunt will not only be joined by Guardians of the Galaxy stars Benicio Del Toro and Josh Brolin, but also the newly appointed Punisher, Jon Bernthal, who is set to appear in the second season of Netflix's Daredevil.
These men appear to be the expertly trained government operatives that are higher in the pay grade than Blunt’s Kate Macer. Specialized task force bods known only on a first name basis, Brolin’s Matt is fine managing his way through what looks to be an operation covered in grey areas. With the walking weapon of mass destruction that is Alejandro spraying bursts of red whenever he draws his gun, Del Toro shows off some seriously impressive professional prowess.
5. Don’t Call It a Comeback
Having already been on screen at Cannes, word on Villeneuve’s next hit is already positive. Wendy Ide from The Times called it, "The French Connection for the drone generation," with the director giving the war on Mexican drug cartels "a bracing, brutal work over." As expected, Denis Villeneuve delivers a solid piece of art and Blunt dazzles with her A-game in tow - but the one star that is being commended above all is one who has well earned a strong appearance, and it has been long overdue. Take a bow, Mr. Del Toro.
Not since the two-part Che film in 2008 has Benicio Del Toro really given us such an awe-inducing performance, but word on the street is that he’s finally found a role to sink his teeth into - while giving us a jaw-dropping character to follow. The titular ‘Sicario' (which means ‘hitman,' in Mexico) that crosses paths with Blunt’s green-around-the-gills agent, was described by Variety’s Scott Foundas as “a swift, unforgiving man, with a wolfish jowl and the preternatural calm of the predator lying in wait. Yet he also shudders in his sleep, reveals flashes of battered humanity when one least expects it, and even, fleetingly, a Hannibal Lecter-ish lust for the flinty young woman thrust into his path.”
After watching the trailer and seeing what has already been said of the film, Sicario seems to be shaping into a masterful piece of cinema for the action genre.
Don't miss this thought-provoking thrill ride when it guns into theaters on September 18th.