„The Infiltrator“ is based on a real life story. Robert Mazur, played by Bryan Cranston, goes undercover to destroy the drug cartel around Pablo Escobar.
Robert Mazur there in reality. He spent five years undercover as a money launderer and got Intel in the drug business, which ultimately led to the arrest of 85 drug lords. His experiences expressed Mazur in his book “The Infiltrator: My Secret Life Inside the Dirty Banks Behind Pablo Escobar’s Medellin Cartel”.
Besides Bryan Cranston, who plays the undercover money launderer, there are still his two co infiltrators Diane Kruger and John Leguizamo. Other actors are Amy Ryan, Joe Gilgun and Benjamin Bratt.
The basic problem with “The Infiltrator” is that even though it is based on a true story, there is still nevertheless a been-there, done-that quality to a lot of the events depicted.
For his part, director Brad Furman, whose previous credits include the forgettable likes of “The Lincoln Lawyer” and “Runner, Runner,” handles the material in a slick but impersonal style that gets the job done, I suppose, but never quite conveys the constant state of danger that presumably defined Mazur‘s life undercover. Of course, considering that the film is based on Mazur’s own memoir, his fate is clearly not in doubt to anyone privy to that information going in. But, even factoring that in, there is too often a distinct lack of tension to the material, especially when one compares it to something like “Donnie Brasco,” which told a similar real-life story of an undercover agent in constant danger of being revealed but which still managed to maintain a level of suspense throughout.
hat does work in “The Infiltrator” is the impressive lead performance by Bryan Cranston as Mazur. It’s a tricky character to pull off because for large chunks of the film, he is essentially delivering two performances at the same time—besides playing Mazur, he is also playing Mazur playing Musella—and for the film to have any chance of working, he has to be completely believable in both roles. As it turns out, the years he spent playing Walter White, a mild-mannered family man who transforms himself into a vicious criminal, pay off further dividends here as Cranston is able to skillfully shift between the personas he is embodying without calling undue attention to them. In the single best scene in the film, his quicksilver ability to go from affable to nasty is beautifully displayed when Mazur is caught with his real wife by one of Escobar’s colleagues and forced to create a violent scene with a waiter in order to get out of the situation before too many questions are asked. It is a showy scene that might have been implausible in the wrong hands, but Cranston shifts gears from the mild to the murderous so subtly and yet so violently that it takes your breath away to watch him do it.
It is not a particularly bad movie considering it just reflects reality. But it somehow just did not punch right. The Infiltrator is not the big crime film ‘inspired by a true story’ that I am waiting for.
Acme Blog Movie Rating:
The Infiltrator is showing in UAE Cinemas from September 1, check out the Trailer below: