Sicario: Those Dudes Ain’t Delta


You’ve seen Sicario?

Yes? Cool. You’re richer for having done so.

No? Stop reading…. or at least don’t watch the video below, cos’ Larry Vickers of Larry at The Movies cares not for spoiling the plot.

For Sicario devotees, or haters — or even those who say “meh” — what you’re going to get when you do watch it is a nice break down/critique of some of the tactics, techniques, procedures (TTP) used throughout the film; places where story lines up with actual TTP, and where it falls short. If this is your kind of movie watching, here we go. But even if you just like the film to be the film, Larry’s breakdown doesn’t diminish this absolutely top-drawer thriller.

Price of admission (It’s free of course, so thanks Youtube) is made up via his comparison of Delta and SEAL tactics and equipment. Vickers is former Delta (in addition to running Vickers Tactical) but is very diplomatic with his treatment of SEALs, as all professionals tend to be. Still, it’s pleasing to think about grudge matches between the two units. Or, in this case, just the ways in which they diverge.

Case in point 1

“They [Delta] have their leg-drop holsters much lower than we generally use them in Delta.” Who knew? But you can be sure I’ll be keeping an eye out on every SOF-enabled film I watch going forward.

Vickers’ review is filled with these little nuggets.

Case in point 2

“It looks like they’re using Sig 226s, clearly that’s a Navy SEAL thing. In Delta we never used ‘em.” Which begs the question to this under-informed writer, “Hey Mr. Vickers, what’s Delta use?” (Am I so lazy that I can’t search this shit for myself?).

And…Full Auto?

If the AR/M16/M4 family are your thing, he makes a great point about the film’s opening scene, centered on a hostage scenario. For anyone who has used this family, or any other assault rifle, professionally, it’s a truism that that full-auto is warranted in only a very few circumstances.

To this point, “Full-auto in CQB has no place, especially in a situation where you may have hostages involved”. This is exactly what Kate Macer, played by the always great Emily Blunt (of Live Die Repeat: Edge of Tomorrow), did during one room entry. In this case, full-auto is justified, but it would take some ergonomic gymnastics to flip the selector switch. So, from Larry’s POV, “she’d have had to have this thing on full-auto pretty much before she even entered the room…. Not really cool”.

Emily Blunt, as Kate Macer, gives a cartel member some full-auto love.
Emily Blunt, as Kate Macer, gives a cartel member some full-auto love.

The Characters

The film centers on Kate (Blunt), Alejandro (Benicio Del Toro), and Matt Graver (Josh Brolin), but Jeffrey Donovan playing Steve Forsing, seemingly a piece of window dressing, really ties the room together. The character of Forsing is based on real-life Delta operator Mike Vining (one of the first members of Delta, actually). Their names have the same structure, as do their glasses. Larry points to these birth control glasses as the obvious link. If you want further confirmation, here’s an above-below comparison.

Mike Vining looking after General Norman Schwarzkopf, during Operation Desert Storm.
Mike Vining looking after General Norman Schwarzkopf, during Operation Desert Storm.
Jeffery Donovan as Steve Forsing.
Jeffery Donovan, as Steve Forsing, looking after his moustache… and some cartel hitters.

Let’s close out on this.

I love watching Larry dissect a scene. His break-apart magnetic reading glasses get me every time.

I know we’re here to discuss Larry Vickers’ take on Sicario but allow me some digression. Avuncular is a word often used to describe the likes of Wilford Brimley, and it applies to Vickers. Watching him talk, I’m reminded of Brimley in John Carpenter’s The Thing. Charming like an uncle, but one who holds some sort of knowledge about the ruthlessness of living in the world. Each time Larry puts those glasses on, there’s a tiny snap, and I imagine something else snapping. Like a cervical vertebra.

Larry Vickers - Sicario
Larry Vickers…. tiny snap.

P.S. Sicario also has some really good movie poster treatments. 

Sicario movie posters
For your consideration, one of the North American posters and a Japanese version where Blunt is soaking up some rays and Brolin is here to renovate on your porch.



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Author: Joey Webster

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