Tuesday, 5 January 2016

2016 Film Reviews - Sicario - Good Kurtz Bad Kurtz

Brief Synopsis: No Country for English Women - with great American accents

I don’t do memes but if I did the one for this film one would go something like ‘When the producers gave you the lead role, but forgot to tell you someone else is the star’

Brief Synopsis: Blunt is an FBI agent dispatched to a special government task force combating the war on Drugs - ending up in her own journey into the Heart of Darkness a la Apocalypse Now with Josh Brolin and Benecio Del Toro playing Good Kurtz Bad Kurtz.

So Emily Blunt finally gets a lead in action movie. She’s not running around pouting with Matt Damon or saving Tom Cruise's arse, all with second billing, no - she’s finally the lead arse kicker, except that she’s not. Spoiler alert - too late - I just spoiled it.

In fact the real clue is in the film’s title - Google it.

In a way the film reminds me of Mad Max: Fury Road which I believe would have been better titled Mad Maxine. I didn't like that movie because I really didn't think it was that great, despite the plaudits. I find I also have a problem with this type of dis-ingenuousness: as with Fury Road, Sicario’s main action is all around the main supporting actor, so why bill them as some kind of foil?

Siciario, like The Revenant, I feel is incredibly well shot. I would be surprised if they weren't both in the running for Best Cinematography at the Oscars. However I much preferred the acting in Sicario, I think primarily because there was for me just more of it. Blunt gives a great performance - within her character’s limitations. Forget about her character’s incredible naivety at blurred edges in tactics in the ‘war on drugs’, are we meant to believe that an FBI  agent doesn't know what Medellin is? I guess Federal agents just aren't up on Netflix.

Long story long, Blunt finds out that it's the same shit different toilet - if you can't beat 'em join 'em. But if you're too soft you can't join them anyway. It’s not sold that way but I have to wonder what the feminists are saying - is it because she’s a woman that she can't hang? It’s kind of a Catch 22 - if Blunt’s character does ‘man up’ and get with the program then she’s as bad as the (all bad) guys, if she doesn’t she can’t do shit about it any way. Is the film really a disguised essay on gender politics in America in 2015 - probably - after all it was directed by a French-Canadian.

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