Based on a true story about how Robert Mazur, a United States Customs official exposes the top Colombian drug lords for money laundering and other illegal activity including the head honcho himself Pablo Escobar. Even given the opportunity to retire and settle down with his wife and children, Mazur decides to take on one last case. Although he prefers to work alone he is partnered with a loose cannon, Emir Abreu, but quickly finds himself building a team to assist him as Mazur gets deeper and deeper in his undercover life. The real test comes when Mazur could potentially lose everything to make the biggest bust of his life.
The Infiltrator is the big heavy hitting crime drama of the Blockbuster Season this year. Although it moves a little slower in pace the buildup is deliberate and methodical. Viewers today are used to quick bursts of action that relieve tension that builds from scene to scene in most action-crime-dramas. However, unlike the other gore infested crime flicks, Director Brad Furman does a great job like a seasoned chef bringing the tension to a simmer marinating all the flavors together to weave a rich story that forces the viewer’s attention and personal interest investment.
In addition to the well-developed story, the solid performances from Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo, and Benjamin Bratt was expected but relieving because they were able to deliver. Cranston does play the main character Robert Mazur, but Leguizamo as a strong supporting character was a stand-out performance. What I really enjoyed was the truly defined characters, each individual whether they were secondary or even tertiary, had a backstory that didn’t necessarily needed to be explained or drawn out. Instead the performances spoke for themselves and told so much more than any monologue or setup could explain.
The acting was on point throughout the film and the cinematography was also well presented. Even though the movie was set in the mid-80s and I felt there could have been a little more emphases or effort put into making the aesthetic feel a little more 80s-esque. Cranston’s character felt like the only real 80s person in the film. There were so many other opportunities that were missed with hair, makeup, and clothes which took away from the feel which was rather upsetting. Everything else was stellar from story to performance but with the largest piece of having a time period movie the environment and people need to look like they fit, and that wasn’t the case for a majority of the film.
If you enjoy true-crime stories that are not focused on missing-persons or murders and can handle a slowly developing story, this will be a no brainer for you. But, if you prefer a little more action and bang for your buck, sit this one out and rent it at Redbox this fall/winter, because it is worth the view.
The Infiltrator is rated R for strong violence, language throughout, some sexual content and drug material and has a 127-minute runtime.