TIFF Review: Sicario (2015)
Violent, tense, and above all absorbing, ‘Sicario’ finds French-Canadian director Dennis Villeneuve at the height of his prowess. Led by an emotional and honest performance from Emily Blunt and especially magnetic, ruthless work from Benicio Del Toro; this action juggernaut is a must-see, even if its unflinching visuals may be difficult for some to swallow.
Relentless from start to finish, a somber, looming tone cloaks Dennis Villeneuve’s thriller in risk and secrecy. Aided by Roger Deakins ghostly, majestic cinematography and Jóhann Jóhannsson’s penetrating, ominous, intimidating score. ‘Sicario’ is an exhausting, inescapable experience.
Supported impeccably by Josh Brolin and a slew of precise tactical performances by the film’s gunslingers. ‘Sicario’ might just be the most effective, entrancing piece of war cinema since Kathryn Bigelow’s ‘Zero Dark Thirty.’
Taylor Sheridan’s horrifying, entertaining, narratively-complex story and devastating, memorable dialogue effortlessly elevates the intensity and execution in Blunt, Del Toro, and Brolin’s performances. Additionally allowing Villeneuve and Deakins to truly explore and excel behind the camera.
‘Sicario’ has Roger Deakins in award-season form and features some of the master cinematographer’s finest work. Most notably, a night-vision sequence that gets the heart racing and palms sweating.
The delicacy and boldness in Blunt’s performance cannot be understated. Imperative and determined, Blunt’s Macer mimics the viewer’s terrified, meddlesome mindset, expertly holding their attention as if you sit fastened in the interrogation chair.
Outshining his co-stars’ already blinding brilliance, Benicio Del Toro’s ferocious, smothering, calculated anti-hero is a performance to contemplate and savour. Exercising the actor’s formidable charisma, ‘Sicario’ catapults Del Toro back into the working elite.
Uncompromising, thought-provoking, and brutally straightforward, ‘Sicario’ is unmissable.
Sicario: 9.5 out of 10.
To say that Looper is an ambitious, mind churning take on time travel and the future would be putting it lightly. Turning the duality of humanity, destiny, and our forthcoming evolution into a provocative, thought bending thriller. Looper, a modern feat, has all the right elements in the concoction that is science fiction. Rian Johnson, Looper’s writer and director transposes his literary idealism in supreme form to the big screen, a difficult task when two of the main characters are the same person. The integrity of the CGI fused into Looper never falters and neither does Johnson’s Cast. Comprised of Bruce Willis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Emily Blunt, Looper’s accomplished actors fulfill Johnson’s visions and demonstrate our impending fortunes or possibly our perils.
In the year 2074, time travel exists but is forbidden. However, when criminal organizations get hold of time travel machines, they send people they want killed back in time to be taken out by “loopers.” Loopers are hired by the organizations thirty years in the past and are ordered to kill whoever is sent back and get rid of the body. When the mob decides to terminate a contract with anyone of their killers, they send him back in time to be killed by himself and this closes the loop. In 2044, Joe (Levitt) is a contract killer who’s loop is sent back to be closed. When old Joe (Willis) returns to the past, young Joe is unable to take him out. Learning of his life, a ruthless leader named Rainmaker, and the possibility to change the future, young Joe also becomes entangled with a woman named Sara (Blunt). In order to save his life and do right by the people he cares about, Joe is filled with difficult decisions that need to be made.
With its twists and catchy action sequences, Looper is a sci-fi obsessors dream. However, while it may be encased in a genre, Looper has its fair share of surprising personal conundrums and political indecisions. Looper may deal with time travel, but the use for it isn’t typical of your usual dime a dozen, brain dead science fiction pictures. The ripples caused by its usage severely impacts our existence and disintegrates what we may have become accustom to. Essentially, the battle between good and evil rages on in Looper with a much more plausible function. Willis and Levitt are terrific in their roles of the same character caught at different times and at opposite ends of the moral line. Levitt is barely recognizable except for his superb acting prowess and Willis hasn’t been this effective in years. Blunt is graceful and nurturing in her role that is based heavily on the argument of nature vs nurture. Johnson’s Looper is glorifying and incredibly significant in these times and gives a unique insight into our lives and everyday decisions.
Looper: 8.5 out of 10.