Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Kate Macer (Emily Blunt) works in a police hostage rescue team in an Arizona border town. The film starts with her and a SWAT team attacking a house to rescue some non-existent hostages. But they do find a lot of dead bodies, which they think are killings ordered by a Mexican drug lord. Afterwards she is invited to join a CIA led team that is fighting the drug war at a higher level.

The team, which is mostly composed of Delta Force soldiers, take Kate on their operations including a trip to a very hostile and dangerous Mexico. She is treated as baggage by the guys, especially by Matt Graver (Josh Brolin) who recruited her and the mysterious Alejandro Gillick (Benicio del Toro). She wonders why she was asked to join.

The action is shot in pseudo-realistic way rather than the typical Hollywood action (no leaping cars, no hordes of baddies being mown down with ease). Though there is a very high useful coincidence / "cavalry showing up just in time" quotient.

This isn't a film about a female cop morphing into a crack bad-ass anti-drug gang vigilante. Rather she has trouble coping with what the guys take in their stride. Kate represents us -- law abiding middle class people, who can't hope to fight those bad Mexicans and need the guys who go beyond the law to fight the bad guys for us.

While the film has a dark edge to it. I think it enjoyed itself too much taking a Donald Trump attitude to Mexico, to take it seriously as a critique of the war on drugs There is a parallel secondary story that shows Mexican women and children as innocents, but it feels like an after thought.

Anne thought it felt like the pilot to a TV series and I see on Wikipedia that there is talk of a sequel.

Ian's rating 3/5

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