Remember the good ol’ days of Breaking Bad? If you don’t, then you need to get your shit together mate, because Breaking Bad is awesome! In fact, Breaking Bad is the best TV Series of all time. No, I didn’t forget Game of Thrones. It’s just that Game of Thrones is so Godlike that even if it ranks number one on every single list in the world, it still wouldn’t be a good enough compliment.
Best TV series of all time: Game of Thrones. Best comedy of all time: Game of Thrones. Best cooking show of all time: Game of Thrones. Best holiday spot in the world: Game of Thrones. Which of the following is the best fast food chain in the world? A) McDonald’s B) KFC C) Burger King. Fuck this shit! It’s GAME OF THRONES!
Okay. I’ll stop now. Breaking Bad is the next best thing. In Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston plays the role of Walter White, a chemistry teacher turned drug dealer. In The Infiltrator, Walter White is back. Well, sorta. This time Bryan Cranston plays Robert Mazur, an undercover Federal Agent who infiltrates drug cartels. And guys, although Fake Ghostbusters and The Purge: Who Gives a Shit is also out this week, The Infiltrator is the movie you’d wanna spend your money on.
The Infiltrator is a true story based on the book written by the real life Robert Mazur, based on incidents that took place in the late 80s. And it is an edge-of-your-seat thrill ride from start till end. This is the kinda movie you can walk into after an entire day of working, working out and masturbating, but still not fall asleep in the cinema because of how stressful this movie can get. There is very little happiness in this movie, and even when supposed happy incidents take place, it doesn’t call for celebration.
The Infiltrator isn’t a movie that glorifies its heroes and exaggerates its villains. In fact, writer Ellen Sue Brown constructs these characters with such finesse that there are moments where you doubt your heroes and worry for the villains. We see FBI agent Robert Mazur contemplate cheating on his wife in a period where their lives were engulfed by misery and hardships. We then see big time drug dealer Benjamin Bratt cooking for his family, teaching his young daughter good manners. Far too often, writers are too focused on the bigger character traits AKA “muscular badass” or “conniving mustache twirling asshole,” that they completely ignore the minute details that make these characters tick like a real life human being. Ellen Brown nails it. Here she chooses to tell a story not just about an undercover FBI agent infiltrating a drug cartel, but rather a story about husbands, fathers and friendship.
Brad Furman does a good job bringing Ellen Brown’s script to life. This could possibly be his best movie yet. Furman is an inconsistent fellow, having directed the decent The Lincoln Lawyer, followed by the below-average-close-to-shit, Runner Runner two years after. Hopefully Furman only goes uphill from here because he does have a lot of potential. Furman and cinematographer Joshua Reis work well together here. This is a dirty movie and is shot as such, reminding me of a certain excellent movie that came out earlier this year – The Big Short.
People often say, it’s difficult for TV actors to transition onto the big screen. Well, Bryan Cranston says “fuck that!” He has no time to sit down and listen to bullshit excuses by naysayers. This guy went from being Malcom’s dad in Malcom in the Middle, to Walter White in Breaking Bad, to fucking Oscar nominee. Here, he’s gold again. From the first word he utters as he flirts with a sexy waitress, to the last act in the movie and everything else in between, this is a performance clinic by a man who just keeps getting better and better. Then again, he’s gonna be in Power Rangers next year, so I wouldn’t place my bets yet if I were you. It isn’t just Bryan Cranston that’s good in this movie though. Everybody is.
This is the most believable ensemble I’ve seen in a long time. Benjamin Bratt? Awesome. John Leguizamo? Awesome. The biggest surprise though, comes in the form of Kathy, played by Diane Kruger. Diane Kruger is always decent, but here she takes it to another level as Robert Mazur’s assistant/fake fiancé. The chemistry between Bryan Cranston and Diane Kruger had to be brewing or the entire second and third act of this film could have fallen flat on its ass. Brewing? How about boiling hotter than lava in Mount Doom. They needed to have sexual tension. Not too much that you’re left wondering why they never had sex. But just enough to make you wonder if they had sex, yet believe them when they say they didn’t.
The Infiltrator is a thriller with hardly any flaws. If there is, I certainly couldn’t catch it. However, it does lack a certain ingredient that prevents it from being truly GREAT. I can’t seem to pinpoint exactly what it is, but I’m guessing it’s David Fincher’s semen.
Even so, The Infiltrator definitely deserves to…
All photos sourced from The Infiltrator.