“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.”
This is a statement by Donald Trump, it is also the ethos behind the hateful new movie, Sicario.
I’m all for xenophobia in brainless action flicks, but when a movie paints itself as a serious, pretentious work of art as Sicario does with its long silent shots of landscapes of the US/Mexican border, to portray an entire nation as villainous is more than reckless, it is immoral.
Sicario tells the tale of a female FBI agent who goes to Mexico with a couple fascist CIA agents to fight Mexican cartels. The Mexico in this movie is a land where dead corpses are hung naked in the middle of a busy city. It is a country where tattooed thugs drive around ready to kill you in a moments notice. It is a land filled with such vile creatures, that we should build a wall higher than the one seen in Game of Thrones.
In movies like the original Red Dawn when Russians were painted as the enemy and in Olympus Has Fallen when the North Koreans were depicted as heartless, it didn’t seem so wrong because the movies didn’t take themselves so seriously. Sicario however tries to position itself as high minded, as a true to life portrayal of the dangers Mexicans brings to America, and thus it feels much dirtier.
It’s kind of like how it was easier to laugh at Donald Trump before you realized a large percentage of the population were going to vote for him.
Somewhere in the middle of this anti-Mexican, pro-waterboarding screed could have been a good B action movie. The battle scenes are often intense, and an out of shape Benicio Del Toro as a supersolider is such a ridiculous killing machine that if they bothered to write him a few witty one-liners this could have been a bizarro version of Machete.
The director of this movie Denis Villeneuve hails from Canada. After seeing the venom that spews from his mind onto the screen, not only in Sicario, but also in one of his previous movies Incendies, I feel if we have to build a wall on the border of this country, we should maybe look North.