Sunday, July 17, 2016

The Infiltrator

         Bryan Cranston channels his most arrogant "Walter White" in this new crime drama, based on a true story. The compelling story of Bob Mazur, an undercover DEA agent combined with a very talented cast make up for any plot weakness and execution.

          Mr. Cranston, playing Mazur goes undercover as Bob Musella, "cleaning" dirty drug money for the Colombian Cartel. Wheeling and dealing with drug lords and dirty bankers, Mazur as Musella flaunts his abilities behind mansions, expensive clothes, jewelry and cars all previously confiscated by the U.S. government. As usual Mr. Cranston is exceptional and a riveting actor to watch. His co-stars here are John Leguizamo as his fellow agent Emir Abreu, Diane Kruger as another agent posing as his fiance, Benjamin Bratt as a high level Cartel member, and Amy Ryan as Mazur's no nonsense boss.  The film also features Juliet Aubrey as Mazur's wife Ev and Joe Gilgun (Cassidy on AMC's Preacher) as Dominic, a criminal Mazur frees in order to help him undercover. 

           The true story gets a bit muddy over the course of the film, bogging down in unnecessary detail and extraneous story elements. Things are not always so clear as we follow the money but the cast is so good, you go with it and are easily caught up in the mounting suspense. Director Brad Furman does a good job of recreating the look and feel of '80's excess but other drug related "true story" films have had stronger screenplays.

            The film relies heavily on Mr. Cranston to carry it's weight and he doesn't disappoint. He is excellent at conveying the dilemma of an undercover operative who gets too comfortable in his role, becoming too close to his targets.

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