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Midvale Journal

Dan's Review: "The Infiltrator" has just enough of the good stuff

Jul 16, 2016 12:09PM ● By Dan Metcalf

Diane Kruger and Bryan Cranston in The Infiltrator - © 2016 Broad Green Pictures.

The Infiltrator (Broad Green Pictures)

Rated R for strong violence, language throughout, some sexual content and drug material.

Starring Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo, Benjamin Bratt, Diane Kruger, Yul Vazquez, Rubén Ochandiano, Juliet Aubrey, Amy Ryan, Olympia Dukakis, Joe Gilgun, Said Taghmaoui, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Elena Anaya, Carsten Hayes, Juan Cely, Jason Issacs, Andy Beckwith.

Written by Ellen Brown Furman, based on the book by Robert Mazur.

Directed by Brad Furman.



That “War on Drugs” thing: How did it turn out, anyway? Oh yeah, it’s still going on, but it seems like there’s some kind of romantic obsession with it coming from Hollywood these days. The exploits of Pablo Escobar have been depicted in the Netflix series Narcos, and in films like Johnny Depp’s Blow. This week, Bryan Cranston stars in The Infiltrator, the true story of a U.S. Customs agent and his campaign to go after Escobar’s money.

Cranston plays the real-life Bob Mazur, who poses as “Bob Musella,” a mob-connected businessman who lures Escobar’s money men into a scheme to launder their drug money. Mazur’s partner is Emir (John Leguizamo), who hooks him up through an informant. During the ruse, Bob mistakenly refers to a “fiancé” even though he’s married with kids. To protect his family, Bob’s bosses set him up with another agent named Kathy Ertz (Diane Kruger) to pose as his betrothed. The tension of the sting operation weighs heavily on Bob’s wife Evelyn (Juliet Aubrey) and his own set of ethics as the stakes get higher. Bob and Kathy eventually get close to Roberto Alcaino (Benjamin Bratt), one of Escobar’s top moneymen. They also get close to Alcaino’s wife Gloria (Elena Anaya). When the sting comes to close at their fake wedding, Bob and Kathy struggle with the idea of betraying the people they have grown so close to.

The Infiltrator is high on 1980s style, but slightly deficient in its story-telling. You can see exactly where the entire operation is headed early on the in the film, and you’re not surprised when it gets there. Cranston’s performance can best be described as good-guy version of Walter White, complete with the dual personas he must endure to keep the deception going. Diane Kruger does a fine job in her performance as well, adding a little class to the ensemble.

The Infiltrator may not be the best drug film out there, but it’s got enough good stuff to get you hooked. Or, you could “just say ‘no’”.

The Infiltrator Trailer