Review: The Land of the Wolves

‘Sicario’ revolves around ‘gruesome realities of war on drugs’

Film poster advertising “Sicario,” starring Emily Blunt, Josh
Brolin and Benicio Del Toro (Movie poster from

Film poster advertising “Sicario,” starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro (Movie poster from

In the barren desert landscape that occupies the border of the land of the free and Mexico lies a wall that holds countless stories of violence against a depredated people. As these refugees seek hope for a new life, there are those who combat the violence that stems from the thin wall of the border.

And then there are those who make violence to stop violence.

Such is the situation in “Sicario,” more formally known as “Mexican Hitman,” a fictional movie about the gruesome realities of the war on drugs and the extremities that some are willing to take to end the battle.

Directed by Denis Villeneuve, director of “Prisoners,” and led by Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro, the movie follows an idealistic FBI agent, Kate (Blunt), as she is enlisted in a special task force with Brolin and Del Toro’s characters to fight against the escalating war on drugs between Texas and Arizona.

With a background in kicking down doors in the suburbs of Tucson as a DEA officer, Kate is offered a chance to “actually make a difference” in the war and casually is recruited by Brolin’s Matt, a “DoD Officer” in the CIA. Under the leadership of the mysterious Mexican consultant (Toro), the team is led to the El Paso area where Kate is confronted with the rigid characters of the team.

As Kate doesn’t initially receive the operation’s objectives, she constantly questions the actions of the team to retrieve information. But as she further investigates her purpose in the group, she is thrown into a world more sinister than she had imagined. With the objectives becoming clearer, the task force’s motives for seeking justice are adverted as they fight violence with violence in pursuit of an anonymous drug lord.

From the opening to the finale, this movie is much more than a simple story about the real war against drugs but an action-packed thriller that will have you wanting much more than two hours of screen time. With a powerful score by Jóhann Jóhannsson and shockingly beautiful cinematography, the story transgresses from tense car chases to the realization of the task force’s objective. As an audience we devoutly follow Kate in her pursuit of justice, we feel the same emotions she deals with. The movie is truly this chilling.

Though the movie is currently rated R for strong violence, grisly images and language, it is well worth a watch over many other films coming out this October. So far this year, it is easily the best film of the year and will have you wanting more.

As I exited the movie theater, both the characters and audience felt helpless to the situation. We were like “sheep amongst wolves” — a feeling that still has not left me.