Director: Brad Furman
Cast Headliners: Bryan Cranston, Diane Kruger, John Leguizamo, Benjamin Bratt
Original Release Date : July 13th, 2016
The Infiltrator has two strong aspects going into it. It features a starring role in Bryan Cranston as undercover Customs agent Robert Mazur, and it follows the story of the major 1980s sting operation against Pablo Escobar’s operation in Florida/ the USA. While there’s some good performances and directing to be found, they are at times buried in a sea of other things.
Cranston’s Mazur is great. In every performance he brings a range, craft, and intensity that always makes him a highlight. When it comes to this film he delivers, and while the material at times is repetitive he is convincing. Especially solid when looking at Mazur’s undercover identity “Bob Musella”. Much like a Heisenberg once upon a time, Cranston is a chameleon able to shift through different situations. Although it’s in his usual style, and almost an inverse of that character’s role, he is a entertaining lead for the film.
The rest of the cast is for the most part good. The shaky interactions between Mazur and his partner Emir Abreu(John Leguizamo) are pretty decent, although when the latter goes off on his own Leguizamo does not quite carry scenes the same way. Bit players such as Jason Isaacs as Mark Jackowski, Said Taghmaoui as Amjad Awan, Olympia Dukakis as Aunt Vicky, Juliet Aubrey as Evelyn Mazur are other moderately decent standouts in a sea of even more bit players.
The film meanders at times, likely limited to its adherence to reality, but a strong aspect comes from the fake romance of Mazur with his “fiancé” Kathy Ertz (Diane Kruger) and the drug powerhouse Roberto Alcaino (Benjamin Bratt) and his wife Gloria (Elena Anaya). Kruger is solid in a way matching her chemistry with Cranston’s Mazur, both being undercover agents. And Bratt is really good in a sympathetic way, as is his love/hate relationship with Mazur.
The directing by Brad Furman is competent, with the 1980s singing through in musical choices. Things get intense when they need to be. At times things can be a bit shaky, but it provides a decent backdrop in some exotic locales for a very dialogue heavy slow burner.
Ultitmately its slow burn , fact heavy nature will be what one either likes or doesn’t. There’s action at times, but its in a long process with a lot of buildup and little sting. But the Cranston is good when the Cranston is good. 7.65 out of 10