A by-the-book FBI agent, Kate Macer (Emily Blunt – “Wild Target”, “The Adjustment Bureau”), leads a raid on a home in Arizona that is suspected of being used by kidnappers involved with Mexican drug cartels.
Although Kate and her partner Reggie Wayne (Daniel Kaluuya – “Welcome To The Punch”, “Johnny English Reborn”) do not find the kidnap victims the team do discover dozens of bodies holed up within the walls of the house. An explosive device in an outbuilding kills two local police officers during the search.
Called in by their boss Dave Jennings (Victor Garber – “Self/Less”, “Alias”), Kate and Reggie are concerned that they may be in trouble. However, Kate has been recommended to join a Department Of Defense taskforce tracking down members of the Sonara cartel from Mexico.
The taskforce is headed by CIA man Matt Graver (Josh Brolin – “Jonah Hex”, “No Country For Old Men”) who tells Kate that they are flying to El Paso in Texas but is rather vague and evasive about the actual mission that they are undertaking.
On the plane Kate meets mysterious Colombian Alejandro Gillick (Benicio Del Toro – “Inherent Vice”, “Snatch”) and discovers that they are in fact going to Ciudad Juárez on the Mexican side of the border, though it is some time before she finally realises the real mission and the aims behind it, with hidden agenda seemingly everywhere you look!
I have no actual knowledge of the real Mexico, but I think it’s fair to say that this film won’t have tourists queueing up to visit some parts of the country once they’ve seen the headless corpses and corrupt police officers on show here.
There are some nicely ominous sounds on the soundtrack and fabulous cinematography of the Mexican landscapes, with the miles and miles of border fence being one of the sights that are particularly effective within the context of the movie. With a look at covert operations, we found this to be a thought-provoking and gripping action film with some solid performances from Blunt, Brolin and Del Toro. Well worth watching…