First Hit: A strong drug war film that digs into ways the government is bending rules to gain some control over Mexican cartels.
I liked this film more the day after (the day I’m writing this) than I did watching it.
I’m not sure why, except maybe the jurisdictional confusions created by Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) of the CIA and Kate Mercer (Emily Blunt) of the FBI and assorted other agencies like the DOD and local and Mexican police agencies continued to process in my brain through the night.
While watching it I wanted more clarity about why Mercer was involved, why Graver’s associate Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro) seemed so cold, perverse and with purpose.
The story revolves around a way that the US Government is trying to control the influx of drugs from Mexico along with the mindless killing of Mexicans that come across the border into this country. The initial scene is what sets this tone.
Blunt is wonderful. She plays the rule following toughened agent very well. Brolin is good and at times I thought he was too flippant to be a government agent. Del Toro was superb. His steely resolve in this character was perfect. Daniel Kaluuya (as FBI agent Reggie Wayne) was very good and a great co-companion of Blunt’s character. Taylor Sheridan wrote a script that, at times, seemed overly complex or confusing. Dennis Villeneuve did an excellent job of directing this story, through the complexities as well as the more direct violent scenes.
Overall: This film grew on me after seeing it, which is a good thing.