Power. Treason. Greed. ‘American Sicario’ is the action movie we need this holiday season

American Sicario is an interesting and dark look at the seedy underworld of cartels and the families involved in such activities. Rich Ronat brings the story to life in his engaging and effective screenplay, paired with professional direction by RJ Collins and solid lead, Philippe A. Haddad, driving the action forward in the film. It channels great crime thrillers such as scarface, miami vice (TV series), and Taylor Sheridan Sicario in tone, action and cinematography.

American poster Sicario. Photo courtesy of IMDB.com.

Haddad plays mobster Erik Vasquez who plots to be “Numero Uno” in the Mexican underworld. He makes enemies of the cartel and even his friends, putting him in an almost untenable situation. He is advised and mentored throughout the film by Pedro (Danny Trejo), his stepfather and former cartel member. Pedro offers advice to Erik and shows great concern for his grandson living around the dangers of the cartel. Erik deals with betrayal, shootings, and stressors within his own family that are visceral in nature. Maurice Compte is the sneaky and mean Roberto. Cali Morales plays a driven and sometimes stubborn Gloria who is Erik’s lover, the mother of their child, and Pedro’s (Trejo) daughter. Maya Stojan portrays a cool, tough DEA ​​agent Monica Wells who is gritty, slick, and has a few tricks up her sleeve. The story rises to a crescendo with a surprising ending, which will be recorded for the public.

Power.  Treason.  Greed.  'American Sicario' is the action movie we need this holiday season
Trejo (left) with Haddad (center) on set. Photo courtesy of RJ Collins.
Power.  Treason.  Greed.  'American Sicario' is the action movie we need this holiday season
Lead actor Philippe A. Haddad in training for the film. Every drug lord has a Barrett in their inventory. Photo courtesy of RJ Collins.

The direction and cinematography are solid, especially since the film was made during the pandemic and in such a short time. The shootouts and plot unfold with some interesting reveals and twists having a double cross here and there too. There’s an ease and naturalness to Haddad’s portrayal as the new father and cartel shark that isn’t usually seen in an actor’s first screen performance, let alone. a main role. There lives an honesty in the part of Erik that translates to the screen. Trejo is wonderful as a concerned grandfather and reformed cartel member, which is outside of his normal roles as an assassin or criminal. He has touching moments in the film with an element of fatherly wisdom, to be seen for his performance alone. His scenes with Morales bring out some of his best lines and establish him as an older man trying to protect his daughter and her family.

Power.  Treason.  Greed.  'American Sicario' is the action movie we need this holiday season
Trejo with Cali Morales in a deep moment. Photo courtesy of RJ Collins.
Power.  Treason.  Greed.  'American Sicario' is the action movie we need this holiday season
From left to right: RJ Collins, Maya Stojan, Philippe A. Haddad and Maurice Compte. Photo courtesy of RJ Collins.
Power.  Treason.  Greed.  'American Sicario' is the action movie we need this holiday season
Director RJ Collins (left) and screenwriter Rich Ronat (right) on the set of American Sicario. Photo courtesy of RJ Collins.

My overall rating for the film is 2.75 clusters of red stars out of 4. It has action, suspense, twists and a strong family element led by Trejo, making it a beautiful film made during a difficult times in our world. A video interview with the filmmakers is below. The film is out on December 10, so check American Sicario in a cinema or a streaming platform near you!

Power.  Treason.  Greed.  'American Sicario' is the action movie we need this holiday season
Morales and Trejo. Photo courtesy of RJ Collins.
Power.  Treason.  Greed.  'American Sicario' is the action movie we need this holiday season
Stojan also just before a raid. Photo courtesy of RJ Collins.
Power.  Treason.  Greed.  'American Sicario' is the action movie we need this holiday season
RJ Collins (center right) and Philippe A. Haddad (far right) with cast and crew members. Photo courtesy of RJ Collins.

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