‘The Infiltrator’

By on July 20, 2016

 

The Bryan Cranston effect

In real life, Robert Mazur risked everything — his life and the lives of his family members. No wonder the original cover of his book, “The Infiltrator: My Secret Life Inside the Dirty Banks Behind Pablo Escobar’s Medellín Cartel,” shows a man without showing his face. The current cover features the face of Bryan Cranston, but more on him later.

The book is the source for “The Infiltrator,” a Brad Furman (“The Lincoln Lawyer”) directed movie about Mazur, the former U.S. Customs official who brought down one of the biggest cocaine smuggling rings of all time.

With a modest opening of $6.7 million, “The Infiltrator” shows there is more to the movies than horror, animation, and remakes (read as “The Purge: Election Year,” “The Secret Life of Pets,” and “Ghostbusters”).

This film of substance stars Cranston as Mazur, a hard-to- crack undercover agent deep in the dangerous world of drug smuggling. In 1986, after years of chasing powder, he decides to chase the money coming in and out of the U.S. from Colombia. Mazur teams up with Emir Abreu (John Leguizamo) to go deep undercover as a wealthy businessman with connections to New York Mafia. Abreu is the middle man and befriends the smugglers, ultimately leading to Roberto (Benjamin Bratt) and Gloria Alcaino (Elena Anaya, “Van Helsing”), who befriend Mazur and his fake fiancée, Kathy Ertz (Diane Kruger). The couples become close friends, which culminates in a staged marriage, netting many top smugglers and fraudulent bankers.

“The Infiltrator” is filmed wonderfully, capturing fresh angles on age old sets. It creates new vision on tired, worn out settings like strip clubs and Florida. The whole film, though it deals with unscrupulous subjects, is shot clean —  for the most part. It is rated R only for violence and suggested promiscuity.

I appreciate “The Infiltrator” for not including unnecessary sex and over-hyped violence. It’s a good call in world already full of movies looking to out-shock moviegoers.

If you like good capers and are tired of the mundane remakes coming out of Hollywood, go check out “The Infiltrator.”

 

Bryan Cranston (left) and John Leguizamo star in “The Infiltrator,” now in theaters. The movie tells the true story of Robert Mazur, an undercover agent deep in the dangerous world of drug smuggling

Bryan Cranston (left) and John Leguizamo star in “The Infiltrator,” now in theaters. The movie tells
the true story of Robert Mazur, an undercover agent deep in the dangerous world of drug smuggling

Bryan Cranston

The beauty of Cranston is you forget he is Cranston. Immediately upon seeing him on screen I harkened back to “Malcolm in the Middle.” I’m sure others recognize him more for “Breaking Bad,” but it didn’t take long to get lost in his role as Robert Mazur. The guy is acting genius and well deserved of his Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for last year’s “Trumbo.”

Cranston is not taking a break. As Xerife, he will star in the upcoming James Franco directed flick, “In Dubious Battle,” alongside Robert Duvall and Selena Gomez. Huh!? Look for this movie later this year. Also in 2016, look for Cranston to star alongside Jennifer Garner in “Wakefield” and alongside — wait for it — James Franco in the Christmastime comedy “Why Him?” For all the nostalgia geeks out there, next year you can see Cranston as Zordon in the new “Power Rangers” movie. Not to be confused with a remake, “The Untouchables” is a “comedic look at the relationship between a wealthy paraplegic and an unemployed man with a criminal record who’s hired to help him,” which is slated to begin filming soon and will star Cranston and funnyman Kevin Hart. We’ll see how these pan out.

Agree or disagree? Reel Reviews works like this: 1) Watch a movie; 2) Send suggestions, comments and criticism to Michael at SomeProMCU@gmail.com.

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