Hi everyone, Bryan here….
We’ve seen quite a few movies and even TV shows that cover the Pablo Escobar story and his drug cartel over the years. Some have been great where others missed the mark. Here with ‘The Infiltrator‘, you never really see Pablo Escobar, but only in passing as the story follows real-life US agent Robert Mazur or as his undercover name Bob Musella, played by Bryan Cranston, who is no stranger to the drug business (Breaking Bad). Robert Mazur went deep undercover to unlock and take down Pablo Escobar’s drug business, along with his right hand men.
What director Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer, Runner Runner) does here that makes this film stand apart from the rest in this genre, is strictly focus on the tension of going undercover in this nasty cartel business. There are some fairly intense moments of brutal killings and violence, but that all takes a back seat as we see all the moving parts come together to make this a successful operation, by showing how Mazur balances his home life, creating fake aliases and marriages, to even opening up bank accounts and becoming very friendly with the deadliest of Pablo Escobar’s crew.
You’ll be on the edge of your seat for sure throughout the whole film, hoping that Cranston’s character isn’t figured out. Speaking of Cranston, he does a phenomenal job as Robert Mazur and the ruthless businessman Bob Musella. It was almost like a return to the ‘Breaking Bad‘ character of Walter White and Heisenberg, where one was a good family man and the other was a volatile and scary individual. It’s a little more toned down here, but it works on all levels. His partner who is also undercover is Emir (John Leguizamo), who always turns in an excellent performance. Emir is the guy who takes all the scary chances here and seems a little unhinged, which also adds to the suspense of the story.
Benjamin Bratt and Diane Kruger play great supporting roles as well, but Cranston and Leguizamo shine bright here. Their struggles with keeping their separate lives from their undercover ones are rough, and you can see that it truly takes a toll on them. Oh and Olympia Dukakis makes an appearance in the film and just steals the show every time she’s on screen. Put her in everything! The music choices are fun and spot on for the time period and the direction is gritty, which adds that extra layer of tension. ‘The Infiltrator‘ is a fresh look at this overly-done story and comes highly recommended!