Monday, August 7, 2017

The Infiltrator

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching!   The Infiltrator is the one who knocks!

The Infiltrator – 4 out of 5

I would guarantee there’s a good chance you’ve heard the name Pablo Escobar at some point in your life.  Maybe you learned about him in school or maybe you discovered about his existence due to the Netflix show Narcos but the dude was a big time drug lord in the 80s.  It was estimated that he supplied nearly 80% of the cocaine in the United States at his peak.  That’s nuts.  The Infiltrator isn’t actually about Escobar directly (more like Escobar adjacent) but rather focuses on the man who brought down his money laundering system—and that man is ironically played by a guy who will forever be remembered as playing a guy who made drugs.

He will also be remembered as a guy who provided voices on Power Rangers on all of the pop
culture websites that need content.

Based on a true story, this film tells the tale of Robert Mazur (Bryan Cranston), a U.S. Customs Service Special Agent.  He goes undercover as a dirty businessman by the name of Bob Musella and starts to infiltrate important drug pushers in order to work his way up into one of the world’s largest drug cartels and is able to integrate himself into Escobar’s business.  With the help of his partner; Emir Abreu (John Leguizamo), and brand new agent Kathy Ertz (Diane Kruger)—who goes undercover as his fiancĂ©e—Musella befriends drug lord Roberto Alcaino (Benjamin Bratt) and looks to take down his operation and the role a large bank has in the money laundering operation.

Based on this image alone, I want a buddy cop show with these two made.

The Infiltrator shines the brightest with its cast and the real life story of Special Agent Mazur coming in at a close second.  That isn’t to say that the tale of this bust isn’t interesting because it so heavily is but the performances in this film are so good.  First off, you have Cranston in the lead and that guy is just amazing to watch.  He makes every character he plays feel so real and authentic and he delivers that aspect by the truck load in this one.  Supporting cast members like Leguizamo, Bratt, Kruger and so many more meet Cranston on this level so effectively that this biopic feels very true to the real events that took place.  It was so easy to get lost in the drama and tension unfolding thanks to the absolutely stellar and realistic performances these players gave.

Benjamin Bratt is a really intense actor.  I bet he could easily intimidate me and get me
to hand over my lunch money to him.  Bratt is a bully in this completely made up scenario.

From a story standpoint, The Infiltrator is definitely interesting.  I can’t speak for how much of it is accurate because we all know that biopics tend to exaggerate things (and make stuff up) for the sake of storytelling but watching Mazur and his partners launch head-first into danger was both intriguing and made for its fair share of tension and heart-racing moments.  There are some sequences and periods that the story kinda drags and a lot of characters go underdeveloped so it makes for times when the film definitely feels like it is the two plus hours that it is with its running length.  However, the film is still pretty strong with its story and the drama and tension it contains.  Adding in the great cast like I mentioned earlier and it was pretty easy to look past its problems it had with its writing.

"Money" by The O'Jays feels like an appropriate song for this image.

The Infiltrator provides an interesting story of a very intriguing criminal case the originated from a drug-fueled era.  There were some problems with the story that were hard to ignore and that made some of the moments feel a tad tedious and there were relationships between some of the characters that I wanted to see expanded upon but, for the most part, the film is telling a very captivating story and contains some truly fantastic performances.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.