Bringing the dark, dirty harsh life of drug smuggling and the equally depressing world of the folks who fight the menace Sicario features two young performers who are caught up in the powerful underworld. While Josh Brolin is the chief pusher for the DEA Benicio Del Toro travels the edgy path between both sides each projecting lives and actions that are not within the civilized bounds of life in North America.
The script brings us various dark moments filled with murder, blood and betrayal. All a part of the difficult southern boundary of the United States. It reaches into the various gangs who are pursued by US and Mexican authorities each side using underhanded techniques to thwart the traffic in humans and drugs. The violence and action we have seen before and too ofter the script lets us down and forgets to grab at the harsh reality it is portraying.
The bright spots in this the second version comes from two young performers Elijah Rodriguez who plays a young boy who skips school to travel with and learn the art of smuggling with his friend. Both he and Isabela Moner’s character are the heart of the film. She is the daughter of one of the cartel leaders and we first meet her on the school yard where she is fighting with and beating a sister student who has called her the daughter of a gangster. She is cock sure of her self and challenges the principal to dare to suspend her. Even though she is a young teen she knows the power of the cartel.
Moner’s character becomes the center of attention when it becomes obvious that she can be a useful hostage for the leader of her father’s opposing gang. Moner plays her character quite well smart and savvy at first and scared and frightened as the story moves on. She sees more than many of the adult male members of the gangs see. Rodriquez is also worth watching as he slips into the wrong world when he is handed more cash than he has seen before. He faces a moral decision late in the film that is powerful and he carries it off well. These two young performers carry the heart of the film.
Matthew Modine and Catherine Keener are part of the organization that is pushed by a confident James Brolin who is willing to take his group over the border if necessary, to hit the gangs and those in the Mexican police force who would protect them.
Even with a solid heart of danger and action this version leaves a hole at it’s chore, it is un-fulfilling and never grabs at us as we watch the script slowly go by.