The United Status–Mexico border may appear to separate the two most populous North American nations, but in fact, as we know, the length of the border and the rough terrain make it difficult to control, and for decades there has been a northward movement of people and drugs.
In Sicario, director Denis Villeneuvedoes not tell the tale of those crossing the border, as this has been done often enough, but instead focuses on the moral wasteland that the government’s fight against the drug-induced violence has become.
The opening scene is intense. In Arizona, in a small town just a few miles from the border, a federal team of agents is moving in. They ram their truck into a flimsy suburban and return the fire they receive from the wife beater–clad gentlemen inside.
At first, there is no sign of the hostages they had been tipped off about. But upon closer inspection of the property, they find the walls are hollow and stuffed with dozens of corpses whose heads are all covered in plastic bags. The scene is gruesome, and most of the hardened men and women of the team retch at the sight and the smell. Moments later, a bomb goes off, and we witness at least one team member losing a limb.
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(Still of Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro and Emily Blunt in Sicario. Photo by Richard Foreman Jr SMPSP – © 2015 Lionsgate)