“I believe that the war on drugs is a tragically misplaced use of resources – an immoral venture that produces far more suffering than it alleviates.” -David Harsanyi
The 80s was a tumultuous time in America as drugs became the new currency. Throw a rock in any direction and you either hit a dealer, a user, or both. With anything as in demand as narcotics were in this decade, there rises the people who will manipulate, lie, cheat, and kill for their own gains. One of the most notorious drug cartels was led by Pablo Escobar whose reputation and story are now legend. As he reigned over the drug world federal agents hunted the drugs he shipped, the men he “employed”, and with little luck, they hunted the man himself.
The Infiltrator tells the story of a U.S. Customs agent who proposed the idea of chasing the money to its source rather than the drugs. This idea allowed them further up the ladder of drug kingpins than ever before. Bryan Cranston delivers a powerhouse performance of real life federal agent, Robert Mazur who seeped into the horrific world of drugs and money and altered history itself.
Brimming with moments of pure suspense, this tautly written story is absolutely exhilarating from start to finish. The cast is supremely talented with Cranston giving an award worthy performance alongside his supporting cast featuring Diane Kruger, John Leguizamo, Benjamin Bratt, and many more who lend their talents to create a truly exciting, tension-filled thriller that’s as unforgiving as it is beautiful. This film features a performance from Cranston that is, if anything, an indication that one day he will be mentioned in the same breath as legends like Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, and Jack Nicholson (among others). He is a legend in the making and I consider it a privilege to be alive to see his work up on the big screen.
Cranston is able to convey every end of the spectrum of human emotions; from sadness to a toughness and grit that makes people want to cross the street to avoid him. He can be as aggressive as the meanest son of a bitch in the room one minute and then exude a look of pure horror in the next. He is a malleable talent that is rare and with his turn as Robert Mazur he only reaffirms this fact. Breaking Bad may be over (sad) but Bryan Cranston will only continue to wow and amaze with his talents for years to come.
The Infiltrator can be argued as something we’ve seen many times before and that isn’t untrue. Retreaded terrain can still be as exciting as ever if the journey is filled with, in the case of this film, a talented cast, a wonderfully paced and grittily written script, and moments of pure delight, however dark these moments may be. Besides its performances, this is a film that loves moments of tension. One wrong move, one wrong look or word and these undercover agents are dead. A mistake in this world means the death of the agent and their families and these deaths are carried out with maximum brutality. The entire film feels like it is balancing on a high wire miles above the earth and one misstep means the end.
There is a grittiness to the cinematography that makes the tension and filth of this world palpable. You can not only see the fear of these people, you can sense it in your bones. Niceties are necessary in this seedy world in order to make money but the compliments and smiles and handshakes are as false as the undercover agents’ identities. One moment the man Mazur is drinking with is laughing, staring at women and the next he is stabbing or shooting or maiming someone who did nothing but make an offhanded comment. This is an abhorrent, ruthless world and The Infiltrator manages to bring its frightening realities to our eyes and ears with absolute conviction. This is one not to miss, I promise.
Rated R For: strong violence, language throughout, some sexual content and drug material
Runtime: 127 minutes
Genre: Biography, Crime, Drama
After Credits Scene: No
Starring: Bryan Cranston, Diane Kruger, John Leguizamo, Benjamin Bratt, Amy Ryan
Directed By: Brad Furman
Out of 5 Nerdskulls
Story: 5/ Acting: 5/ Directing: 4.5/ Visuals: 4
OVERALL: 5 Nerdskulls
Check out the trailer below:
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