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The Infiltrator

    review by Bobby Blakey

Some of the most intriguing stories out there are true stories of things that we never knew happened behind the scenes. There are so many stories of varying law enforcement stings that are hard to imagine that they are actually real. The latest taking on this subject matter is The Infiltrator that features an amazing cast including Bryan Cranston, Diane Kruger, John Leguizamo, Benjamin Bratt, Yul Vazquez, and Amy Ryan, but does it do the story justice or will it end up being a small score?

The Infiltrator follows Federal agent Robert Mazur who goes deep undercover to infiltrate Pablo Escobar’s drug trafficking scene plaguing the nation in 1986 by posing as slick, money-laundering businessman Bob Musella. Teamed with impulsive and streetwise fellow agent Emir Abreu and rookie agent posing as his fiancé Kathy Ertz, Mazur befriends Escobar’s top lieutenant Roberto Alcaino. Navigating a vicious criminal network in which the slightest slip-up could cost him his life, Mazur risks it all building a case that leads to indictments of 85 drug lords and the corrupt bankers who cleaned their dirty money, along with the collapse of the Bank of Credit and Commerce International, one of the largest money-laundering banks in the world. It should come as no surprise that Bryan Cranston is as amazing as expected in this film. He has been on a real roll lately and this is yet another great performance. This is a far cry of a character from Breaking Bad, but there are a couple of moments that you get a hint that he might be channeling Heisenberg here and there. While he leads the charge to perfection he is not the only one offering up a great performance. The entire cast here knocks it out of the park, with Leguizamo being the most interesting character here. He brings his usual swagger to the role with a sense of insanity that makes you want to know more about the gritty underbelly he runs in. Benjamin Bratt brings a similar swagger to his role that is more subdued as a family man, but a clear undertone of darkness that lets you know that while he is likeable he could kill you at any minute.

The story here is really interesting and structured well enough to keep you invested throughout. Where this film struggles a bit is finding the real impact it appears to be trying to convey. The gritty look and tone works great and the accompanying performances make it stand out, but its overall lack of real impact may leave some wanting more. There aren’t any of those deeper moments where you feel the struggles they went through really paying off. Make no mistake this doesn’t make the film any less great it just keeps it from elevating to the level that it could have had it packed a bit more of a punch.


If you are someone that loves any of these great actors involved or just a great crime drama then this is a film you really should check out. Most may come way feeling that everything worked perfectly the way it is and others may agree it needed just a little something extra but there is no denying that it is still a great movie. As with most of these true story films it offers up a side by side through the credits of the actors and those they portray that does give it that perfect ending it needed to remind you when it is all said and done that this really happened.


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