The Infiltrator Review
Hollywood’s affinity with drug-related movies has mostly been a one-sided narrative. It’s always the celebration of money, the allure of power, the cars, clothes, and expensive trips. The ending is usually the same: The drug dealer or drug lord goes out in a blaze of glory or is eventually caught by the cops and does major time, but that’s secondary. The focal point is the rise to power, and the main character is shown as a hero of sorts. When some of us watch these movies like “New Jack City”, “Scarface”, et cetera, we low-key cheer for Nino Brown and Tony Montana. No, we might not wanna BE them, but we dayum sho’ want that lifestyle so it makes us more sympathetic when things go bad for them. What about the lives of those they affect, though? What about the families of the DEA agents who are killed in retaliation just for doing their jobs? In the new movie “The Infiltrator”, Robert Mazur must worry about all that and then some, and hope he doesn’t get caught up in the very lifestyle he’s sworn to bring down. Is this movie as pure as China White, or as fake as Gold Medal Flour? Let’s go!
“The Infiltrator” is the true story of Robert Mazur, a U.S Customs agent trying to bring down notorious dope dealer Pablo Escobar’s money laundering organization by using his alias “Bob Musella”. Bryan Cranston plays Mazur/Musella which will totally surprise those who know him as being a dope dealer himself from popular “Breaking Bad” cable TV series. In the film, Mazur is on the verge of retirement, but his love, or obsession, for his job leads him to take one more case. This case is so dangerous, if he’s not careful, it could be his last. He’s asked to become a pivotal player for drug lords cleaning their dirty cash. He takes on the alias “Bob Musella”, a flamboyant yet highly professional business man who is an expert of making dope-boy money legal. As he gets further involved, the trail leads him to Pablo Escobar, something no one expected. John Leguizamo plays Emir Abreu, Robert’s unorthodox but street-smart partner. During the first 10 minutes of watching “The Infiltrator”, it becomes apparent that this is not your usual Hollywood drug-related movie. It’s sooooo much more!
Hands down, this is THE most suspenseful drug-themed film ever made…no lie. Director Brad Furman uses every one of our emotions against us, and keeps our eyes glued to the screen for over two hours. This movie explores the risks of going deep undercover and how making the slightest mistake could not only cost an agent his life, but the lives of everyone, and I mean EVERY ONE, around him. The movie is set in the mid 1980’s so it has a nostalgic feel when the dope game was at its pinnacle. Plus, this happened in Florida and of course Florida is where the majority of drugs were being imported and that gives the film even more credibility. The entire cast is f’ing amazing, y’all. When Robert plays his alter ego Bob Musella, he has to sell his personality and business acumen to straight-up killers so there must be zero room for error. Leguizamo as Emir is just as good in his role. He is basically the one responsible for initial contact and watching his character onscreen will draw an awkward connection to him. I say “awkward” because he sometimes comes off as extremely annoying and unprofessional, but his loyalty and knowledge makes him a valuable asset, convincing the audience that he is needed. Benjamin Brett plays Roberto Alcaino, Escobar’s number 2 guy as portrayed in the movie. He’s not your stereotypical drug dealer but his personality is the kind of nonchalant, semi-serious one that makes you wonder just how many people he may have had killed. “The Infiltrator” has nothing but stress and suspense in damn near every scene. If you take high-blood pressure medicine, bring it with you and give some to the person sitting next to you. This is a very cerebral film. There’s a lot of action, don’t get me wrong, but you can actually sit back and watch this thing unfold and even if no action follows a particular scene, you wouldn’t care. You just don’t know what’s coming next and that’s the joy of “The Infiltrator”. The ending of the 3rd act is a little flat, but maybe for about two or three minutes. It’s wraps up wonderfully, though. “The Infiltrator” is indeed the most suspenseful drug-related movie you’ll see and just as raw as the drugs themselves.
This is a “Grown Folks” movie! A good storyline is primary, action is secondary. It also has a very good musical score which makes “The Infiltrator” that much more enjoyable. It is long, however, a little over two hours so don’t buy the medium or large soda or you’ll regret it. There are some immensely intense scenes; some you’ll see coming, some you won’t. I guarantee you’ll have a good time watching this. I was thiiiis close to giving it a classic, but it’s not that superior of a movie mainly because of the 3rd act. BUT, I am co-signing “The Infiltrator” to the fullest, fullest, FULLEST, dammit! It’s not in a lot of theaters, but if you’re near one that shows it, go see it! The kids have a shyt-load of summer films to pacify them. Can’t we adults have a least one? After watching “The Infiltrator”, I say…Hell yeah!