Movie Review - Jackie K Cooper
"The Infiltrator" (Broad Green Pictures)
Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo, Diane Kruger, Benjamin Bratt and Amy Ryan are all excellent actors but they can not a hit movie make. They try earnestly in their new movie "The Infiltrator" but they just don't possess the star power to transform a good but lackluster script into an above average moviegoing experience. The acting is solid but the movie is just okay.
"The Infiltrator" is a true story based on the life of Robert Mazur, an agent for US Customs. Mazur (Cranston) went undercover many times in his career but no case was as dangerous as the one concerning his search for a way to capture Pablo Escobar. The movie concerns those efforts.
Kruger portrays Kathy, one of Mazur's co-agents who goes undercover with him as his "fiancée". Mazur's job gets more complicated as he worries about Kathy's safety as much as his own. Leguizamo is Emir, another of Mazur's allies in the war against drugs. Emir is a hot head who keeps Mazur off balance in the world of drug lords and kingpins. Bratt portrays a drug lord and Ryan is Mazur's boss.
The major weaknesses of the movie are the script and Brad Furman's direction. The requisite telling of Mazur's story hands the writers a tough assignment. There are so many characters and so many plot elements that unless you are very, very careful the entire film can come off as confusing. Furman allows the script to veer off in too many directions and never allows the variety of characters to be clearly defined.
There is also a problem with the editing. The jump cuts interfere with the flow of the story and some scenes even appear to be out of sequence. If the audience can't follow the story then they will have difficulty enjoying the story.
Cranston is certainly solid in his performance. He is convincing as the thoughtful and deliberate agent, and he is forceful as the money provider/launderer for the Cartel. He has been on quite a roll with his "Breaking Bad" series and his LBJ role on Broadway and HBO. His performance in "The Infiltrator" shows once again what a major talent he is.
The Movie is rated R for profanity, violence and nudity.
It is a shame the elements of "The Infiltrator" were not more cohesive. The cast certainly gives it their all, but balanced out it comes across as a good movie but nothing special.
I scored "The Infiltrator" a mole-ish 5 out of 10.
Jackie K Cooper