Sicario Movie Franchise Explained: Prosecutor Turned Assassin and His Story

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Josh Brolin in a still from Sicario

America’s war on drugs has been continuing for more than half a century now and has cost THE USA trillions of dollars and a lot of lives. It’s not just the USA that has suffered, many countries have faced the same issue. The drugs, the smuggling, production, war between cartels and nations cause destruction more than anyone can imagine, but it does help Hollywood a lot. No I am not talking about getting high or snorting cocaine, I am talking about the stories that it has given. There have been many movies and series on drug that have been produced and not going lie they are very interesting to watch and Sicario movie was added to the list in 2015 directed by Denis Villeneuve and it’s sequel the Sicario: Day of the Soldado that was released in 2018.

Sicario Movie Cast

  • Emily Blunt as Kate Macer, an FBI agent
  • Josh Brolin as Matt Graver, a CIA officer
  • Benicio del Toro as Alejandro Gillick, a former Mexican prosecutor turned assassin
  • Daniel Kaluuya as Reggie Wayne, a rookie FBI agent and Kate’s partner
  • Victor Garber as Dave Jennings
  • Jon Bernthal as Ted, an American police officer
  • Jeffrey Donovan as Steve Forsing, a CIA officer

Sicario: Day of the Soldado Movie Cast

  • Benicio del Toro as Alejandro Gillick, a former Mexican Prosecutor turned CIA trained assassin
  • Josh Brolin as Matt Graver, a CIA SAC/SOG officer
  • Isabela Moner as Isabel Reyes, a drug lord’s daughter
  • Jeffrey Donovan as Steve Forsing, CIA SAC/SOG officer
  • Catherine Keener as Cynthia Foards, Matt’s Superior in the CIA
  • Matthew Modine as Secretary of Defense James Riley
  • Elijah Rodriguez as Miguel Hernández, an American teen who works as a coyote
In a still from Sicario Movie

Sicario Movie Plot Explained

The plot is such that it makes you question who the protagonist is and who’s the Antagonist. The story shows two perspectives and leaves it up to the audience to decide what they want. Without further ado let’s dig into the story of Alejandro, a former advocate whose wife and daughter were killed by the orders of drug lord Alarcon. The way he chooses to fight back and take revenge is by becoming a Sicario(hitman) and joining the CIA to fight their war on drugs. Since the CIA has to operate on domestic grounds it needs FBI agents to be present with them to carry out the operation. And Kate who leads a kidnap response team for the FBI is taken on board to fight the Mexican drug cartel and bring them down. 

As the story progresses Kate starts to understand that she has been given very little information about the operation, she starts to question the decisions taken by the CIA team being led by Matt graver. She feels that what he is doing isn’t doing is by books and is against her morals. She tries to correct him on several occasions and even threatens to blow the whistle on him and go tell everyone about it.

Won’t be giving any spoilers ahead please watch the movie to find out does Kate really blow the whistle or she is over powdered by the ones above her and does Alejandro manage to get his revenge??

In the second installment of the movie THE DAY OF THE SOLDADO Alejandro returns with Matt graver and this time too they are after the Mexican cartels but this time it is because they made a few suicide bombers cross the border and cause a terrorist attack in the Kansas City.

The CIA chooses to use the divided and rule policy to destroy the drug cartels. They plan on doing so by causing a war between the cartel’s in Mexico by kidnapping the daughter of Carlos Reyes a Mexican drug lord and blaming it upon the other cartel. After Kidnapping Isabelle Reyes daughter of Carlos Reyes is brought to the USA soil and kept safe.

She is later taken back to Mexico and things escalate and she goes missing on the way Alejandro goes to find her and from this point the story of destroying cartels is diminished and a beautiful bond between Alejandro and Isabelle is created as Alejandro sees his daughter in Isabelle and they try to make it back to the USA as she will not be safe anymore in Mexico. The story takes a steep turn as Matt Graver is ordered to clean up the mess he made and kill Alejandro and get rid of Isabelle.

Both the  movies have a very good narrative and reveal the story of characters bit by bit that creates a connection as you keep learning more about them. Though understanding Alejandro’s motive and Kate’s continuous questioning could take a while because the story of the characters is revealed bit by bit and asks for all your attention because missing a scene could confuse you.

So who is the story of Sicario About ?

Well in the first film Matt Graver, Alejandro and Kate are the main leads and the story revolves around them but with more uncovering of plot we realize that Matt is the facilitator and is using Alejandro and Kate is just a puppet that he needs to complete his operation on the US soil.

Sicario the title of the movie is dedicated to Alejandro who is a Hitman and works for the CIA. Matt says that Alejandro doesn’t care who he works for may It be the USA against the Cartels or the other way his endgame is killing the leader who killed his family.

In a still from Sicario Movie Franchise

Why Is Kate So Keen On Blowing Up The Whole Mission?

Kate works on the kidnap response team for the FBI and she volunteered to be on the team with Matt Graver but she isn’t really a part of the team. Matt treats her as an extra and does not give any vital information or the objective of the mission and she being new to these scenarios doesn’t know how to react.

Kate has been used to playing by the rulebook and doing her tasks. She gets a little uncomfortable with the way Matt has planned the whole operation which is in a very dirty way and not all legal.

Kate does want to bring down the Mexican cartels but doesn’t really know how. She thought it’s going to be all clean and clear but she rather gets traumatized when the extraction operation happens seeing all the violence in Mexico, later on during the tunnel task she threatens to blow the whistle on this operation and gets into a fight with Matt.

Matt Answers All Her Questions With One Dialogue

Matt : Medellin refers to a time when one group controlled every aspect of the drug trade, providing a measure of order that we could control. And until somebody finds a way to convince 20% of the population to stop snorting and smoking that s***, order’s the best we can hope for. And what you saw up there, was Alejandro working toward returning that order.

Why does Alejandro speak so less ?

In the initial script had many more dialogues than what we actually see in the movie but after the improvising, the actor and director agreed to not reveal a lot about Alejandro in the beginning and keep him as a mystery.

I feel like that worked out really because you can feel the shift of focus from Kate to the quiet character of Alejandro as the story progresses and the audience learns more about him and you feel fascinated by very Little that Alejandro speaks.

His dialogues are very less but  have deep meanings for example

Alejandro: You’re asking me how a watch works. For now we’ll just keep an eye on the time.

And also they had a different opening scene about Alejandro but that would change the whole narrative and put him the center of audience’s attention and Kate’s perspective which acts as eyes and ears for the audience would be faded.

The Movie Culture synopsis

The sequel for the movie was way simpler to understand and I didn’t have any questions that I asked myself while watching the movie. Sicario: Day of the Soldado plays more the emotional part where Alejandro gets attached to Isabel and tries to keep her safe and at the end when Matt is ordered to kill Alejandro the tension rises. The ending of the sequel does tease for the third part of the series I am pretty excited to see Del Toro back on screen with his fabulous acting and thinking whether they would bring Kate back on the team and will Matt and Alejandro be on different sides of the court but I guess we will have to wait to find out what happens.

Since Alejandro’s story isn’t completely revealed and we know very little about him, how about a prequel to the Sicario movie that tells Alejandro Gillick’s story from the start and his journey from advocate to a hitman. I enjoyed the Sicario movies and I hope you do too. You can watch the movies on Amazon prime and buy or rent on YouTube.