This is a movie about the drug cartels that operate around the Mexico-USA border near Texas and Arizona. Primarily an USA centric film, it tries to depict the struggles faced and tactics used by various government agencies such as the CIA and the FBI when dealing with the drug cartels. Sicario in español translates to ‘hitman’. It is however never clear who the hitman actually is, till halfway in the movie.
The story follows the promotion of FBI agent Kate Macer who is tired of cleaning after bombs and druggies and wants to make a real dent in the cartel’s operations. She is transferred to El Paso, Texas where she must work with CIA’s Matt Grover to perform various drug related busts and reconnaissance missions. They’re also accompanied by Alejandro Gillick who is a supposed ‘drug cartel’ consultant to the USA government.
The movie begins very well, taking you through the reality of the drug trade. After the intermission, the script itself is not sure who’s story it wants to tell. It tries to tack on a half-assed story about a hitman who is out for revenge which does not relate to the events hitherto discussed.
Alejandro is always in a supporting role till the point where he saves Kate’s life. After that he is the main character and the story instantly becomes about his revenge. The cause for the hitman’s revenge is hastily explained by Matt and the audience is left puzzled.
The cartel boss has such little screen time that it is difficult to feel the importance of the scene and justify Alejandro’s effort or method. The corrupt Mexican policeman Silvio is shown in interleaved shots to create suspense but is then killed off as a mere pawn. Kate’s partner Reggie plays a substance-less role as the token black guy.
This is a really poor attempt at a suspense movie as it is never clear where the film is heading. Character development and their backstories are sorely missing and create an overall hollow experience. An overrated film of which they’re planning a sequel.