In a summer replete with franchise films and without mainstream movies for “adults” The Infiltrator can appear like an oasis in a desert, or it can be a mirage. The Infiltrator is a crime drama set in 1986 Miami. Bryan Cranston plays Bob Mazur, a Customs Agent who goes undercover as a money launderer to bust Pablo Escobar’s Medellín Cartel. Cranston will be remembered for playing Walter White in Breaking Bad and the role of Bob Mazur finds him wading into familiar territory: managing dual identities. In one of the best scenes he must switch roles on the fly in front of his wife. However, because The Infiltrator is based on Mazur’s memoir and Mazur was an executive producer on the film, the movie is limited in its portrayal of Mazur. It makes him out to be too upright and not flawed enough to be a complex character like Walter White. For Mazur workaholism passes as hamartia. Of course Mazur may in fact have been a mensch but the story would’ve been more interesting if he had not. Still, the movie is tense, gritty, and unglamorous and it offers up a soundtrack with hits from Curtis Mayfield, Violent Femmes, Leonard Cohen, and The Who. DP Joshua Reis does a good job making The Infiltrator look like a seventies film. Diane Kruger, Benjamin Bratt, John Leguizamo, and Olympia Dukakis co-star.
By Alec Julian & Carrie White