🎥🍣 Movie Sushi — Sicario

AdGridley
6 min readJul 16, 2021

In Mexico, Sicario means Hitman.

The FBI drives through the wall of a house in Phoenix and quickly secures it room-by-room. Reggie finds corpses hidden in the walls. Manuel Diaz owns the house, but can’t be connected to the bodies. When a boobytrap is triggered, two cops are dead.

Diaz is, most likely, the Sonora cartel’s most senior member living in the US. He has a brother, Guillermo, and a cousin, Fausto. Matt Graver, dressed in flip-flops, is team leader. Currently, Guillermo’s in the El Paso area. After she’s told she’ll get an opportunity at the men responsible for the corpses and boobytrap in Phoenix, Kate Macer volunteers for Matt’s team.

In Nogales, Mexico, a child wakes his father for an upcoming soccer match. He runs into the kitchen urging his mother to prepare coffee and eggs. While eating breakfast, the dad discreetly adds alcohol to his coffee, winking at his son.

Immediately on board their private jet, Matt prepares for a power nap. Alejandro says they’re going to Juarez, not El Paso. Kate asks about Mexican cartels. He says she’s asking him how a watch works. For now, they should just keep an eye on the time.

At the briefing, they’re told Mexican federal police will meet them and proceed with them to the courthouse holding Guillermo. Surrounded by laughter and camaraderie, Alejandro seems entirely disinterested. Their convoy’s most vulnerable at the border crossing on the return. Matt tells Kate if Alejandro tells her to do something, she should do it.

Kate’s sitting in a black SUV in a convoy of five similar vehicles sent to extradite Guillermo. As they drive into Mexico, the roads become bumpier. Alejandro welcomes Kate to Juarez. They drive past some stripped corpses hanging from an overpass, some upside down, some with limbs missing. Kate silently observes.

At the courthouse, Guillermo is put into one of the SUVs. Soon, the border agents are waving the convoy back over the border. A broken down car is causing long queues of stationary drivers in America. In the standstill, they see a red Impala and a green Civic filled with cartel members.

Alejandro reports “gun” to the others. Others repeat this, then say “left” — somebody unlocks the doors. The red Impala contains four men, one with tattoos covering his face and neck. He and another man are obviously armed. Alejandro keeps his gun sighted on them. The doors of the Impala open and the military leave their cars. The gangsters are noncompliant and are all summarily executed. This is all too unorthodox for Kate. The passenger of the green car opens his door and the second carful of gangsters is executed. Kate avoids being shot and returns fire.

Kate didn’t like the way they sprayed bullets everywhere. She’s wondering what she’s even doing there. Matt says she’s giving them the opportunity to create chaos, which is the whole point.

Alejandro appears in front of a sitting Guillermo with a big bottle of water. He begins the session by kicking Guillermo’s legs apart and standing with his crotch right up against Guillermo’s face. Alejandro promises to show Guillermo what Yankee Hell looks like. Guillermo will have no help from Matt.

Kate and Reggie approach a large group of people gathered sitting on the ground. Alejandro wants anyone caught in the Nogales area. Guillermo told Matt about a tunnel east of Nogales, near Sasabe. Now, they’re trying to find out which areas near there the migrants avoid so they can find the tunnel. This way, the boss, Fausto Alarcon, can be located.

In Nogales, a mother gets her son breakfast ready for school. She tells him his dad’s at work, but doesn’t know when he’ll be back.

Guillermo’s intel was accurate. They watch video of a bank’s interior. If the female “smurf” tries eating the deposit receipt, Jessie must perform the Heimlich manoeuvre to get it back out again. Soon, the smurf’s wrestled to the ground and Matt freezes all Diaz’s bank accounts. Kate goes into the bank, against Matt’s advice. She finds cash deposits have been made daily in $9,000 increments, meaning it goes unreported.

Kate tells Matt they just seized $17m. He tells her an attorney will have that money back in months. The objective is to get Manuel back to Mexico. Kate tells her boss, Jennings, that for five years, $9,000 per day has been deposited into this bank account. Jennings says it’s not illegal. Advisors like Matt make criminals nervous, they then stop trusting their crews and move their money — which is when they’re vulnerable. Jennings tells Kate these decisions are made above him.

In a bar, Reggie introduces Ted, from Phoenix PD, to Kate. When they’re back at her house, Kate notices Ted’s blue wristband and stops. Soon, Ted’s trying to kill her. Alejandro appears and stops Ted. Later, Matt says he warned her to not go into the bank. But, capturing Ted is good.

Ted’s being beaten. Matt asks questions, while Alejandro forcefully coerces. Alejandro wants the names of all the people they have working for the Phoenix PD.

The son wakes his policeman father again — he’s brought him eggs with jalapenos. He asks if his dad’s working today. He tells his son tonight. Then, he promises to play football with his son in the park.

Manuel Diaz’s getting called back to Mexico. Once they clear the mules from the tunnels, they don’t expect more than a dozen bandits, this includes local police.

Matt still doesn’t like that Kate and Reggie reported his actions to Jennings. Matt says Kate’s there because CIA can’t operate within US borders without a domestic agency attached — she can have any seized drugs.

Manuel’s black Mercedes is heading south by south west. The SWAT team leader tells Kate and Reggie to keep their safeties on, barrels pointed down, hang back and don’t shoot anyone friendly.

Using night vision, they move through the dwelling, killing silently. Fresh bodies lay on the ground for those following to step over. They crouch as they move along the tunnel. Kate drops her gun, but it’s too unsafe to reclaim it. She instead produces her sidearm.

A police car is being unloaded of its cargo of cocaine near the tunnel entrance. Alejandro shoots the worker, making the cop raise his hands. Kate yells freeze. Alejandro shoots Kate twice in her bulletproof vest, putting her on her back. Alejandro takes the policeman and speeds off in his car. When cop Silvio reveals he has a son, Alejandro says what he does now is for his family.

Matt says it was a clean op. Then, Kate emerges — wheezing — from the tunnel. She hits Matt in the face, who puts her on her back. He tells her she saw things she shouldn’t have seen. She asks about Medellin.

He says Medellin refers to when one group controlled the entire drug trade, providing a measure of order that they could control. And, until twenty percent of the American population stops using cocaine, order’s their best option. Alejandro was working toward returning that order. He wants revenge against the person who cut off his wife’s head and threw his daughter into a vat of acid.

Alejandro makes Silvio pull over Manuel’s Mercedes. Using the loudspeaker, Silvio tells the driver to leave his car, raise his jacket and turn around. Manuel throws down his gun. Alejandro executes Silvio and wounds Manuel. Manuel keeps stressing how important he is. Alejandro puts a gun in his neck and threatens Manuel’s daughters before both get in the Mercedes.

Once past the gate, Alejandro executes the guard. He slits Manuel’s throat and leaves the car. Once the gates open, three more guards see Diaz in the car dying. Three gunshots later, they’re all dead.

Alejandro proceeds on foot through Fausto’s beautifully-illuminated mansion. Another guard is executed. Alejandro approaches Fausto, who’s eating a meal with his wife and two sons.

Fausto tells his kids to keep eating. He tells Alejandro people like him learned this brutal behaviour from the American authorities in the first place. He asks if Alejandro’s wife would be proud of what he’s become. Fausto’s forgetting about Alejandro’s daughter. Fausto denies that was personal. Obviously, it was personal for Alejandro. Alejandro says it’s time to meet God and executes all four people.

Later, Alejandro needs Kate’s signature. The statement says everything they did was by the book. She is reluctant. He puts a gun under her chin saying she would be committing suicide otherwise. He wipes away her tears and makes her sign. He says this is the land of the wolves, now, and dismantles his gun as he leaves. From the parking lot, he silently discourages her from shooting him.

Silvio’s son looks at his dad’s empty, still-made bed. Instead, his mom takes him to soccer practice. Distant, erratic gunshots interrupt the game.

Starring Emily Blunt. Josh Brolin. Benicio Del Toro. Rated 18. Dir Denis Villeneuve. Released in the UK 2015. Runtime 2hrs 1min

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AdGridley

Ad teaches & gives speeches on his MH struggle + recovery at institutions right across the world. (Movie Sushi pieces contain spoilers)