Jamie Neish: Blunt gives sharp edge to Sicario

Emily Blunt
Emily Blunt
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YEARS after starring in lighter, yet no less entertaining films such as The Devil Wears Prada, Wild Target and Sunshine Cleaning, Emily Blunt has experienced something of a change in career.

This weekend, Blunt stars opposite Josh Brolin and Benicio Del Toro in brutal crime thriller Sicario, holding her own every step of the way.

The film sees Blunt’s FBI agent Kate Macer recruited for a top secret assignment, throwing her right into the heart of the war on drugs.

It’s a blood-churning, heart-stopping, old-school kind of thriller embedded in the dirty, dark, Mexican heartland, where decapitated bodies are strung up and left in the open and bombs litter the soil.

Blunt, though well supported by her colleagues, carries much of Sicario. Kate is a woman strong at what she does, but thrown into a dog-eat-dog world, even she has concerns about what’s right and wrong.

She’s fearless in the role, commanding the screen even when embroiled in a blood-splattering hand-to-hand fight scene

This isn’t the first time Blunt has traded her luminous image for projects with a bit more grit - she starred opposite Tom Cruise in the underrated Edge of Tomorrow.

In a film where she had to wear a heavy warrior shell for much of shooting, Blunt wowed with her skill, verve and presence, hailing herself as Hollywood’s new action heroine.

It’s good to see a talented actress awarded a part to get her teeth stuck into, and that’s exactly what Sicario has given her. Everyone knew she can do romcoms, period dramas and coming of agers, but not everyone knew how strong Blunt was.

The Academy would be foolish to overlook such a bold performance. And Sicario itself is one of the best crime thrillers this year.