Cinematic Releases: The Infiltrator (2016) - Reviewed

Bryan Cranston takes the lead in the true story, The Infiltrator. 

The always inspiring Bryan Cranston stars in one of the best dramatic films of 2016, so far. In a role that suits his vulnerabilities and his flair for copious amounts of believable human dynamics, Cranston shines throughout a movie that may have faltered just a hair if not for his attentiveness to creating realistic characters. 

Armed to the teeth with a great script and a refinement that definitely shows signs of his Walter White, The Infiltrator will hopefully mark a possible Oscar nod for Cranston as he totally steals the spotlight from an otherworldly supporting cast made up of the stunning Diane Kruger, Benjamin Bratt, Olympia Dukakis, John Leguizamo, and numerous other recognizable character actors. 

My suit is blue like my meth. Get some. 

The Infiltrator is not an action film. It's a straight up, no holds barred character study that chronicles the true story of Robert Mazur, an undercover U.S. customs agent during the widespread drug panic of the '80s. With a mindful presentation of intricate case details and just enough  brutality, this movie is a razor sharp piece of criminal history that will keep the interest of anyone that has any idea about the long running Pablo Escobar case. At times, The Infiltrator has a similar feel to American Hustle as our characters work through the weeds of various locations and scenery. But ultimately, this is a stronger movie that digs deep into the emotional context of being an undercover agent and the baggage of destroying established relationships. The Infiltrator shows every side of the story, allowing viewers a small amount of sympathy for the vicious criminals that this is based on. 

This is not a movie you go into looking for tons of gun play or car chases. This is a taught, real life thriller with a heavy backbone based in the world of cartels, life altering scenarios, and tension loaded moments of life and death. Director Brad Furman escapes the faults of his mediocre Runner Runner with a decisiveness that establishes him as a respectable part of the film community. The Infiltrator has a heavy, emotive weight to it that at times feels like the stressful scenes of Blow mixed with an old school Miami Vice flavor and a dash of Scorsese thrown in for an added bonus. Furman creates a constant feeling that everything could go sideways at any point, throwing our main characters into the belly of the beast. 

You said you wanted cake? Well, get some of that too. 

There are mixed reviews about this film. Some state that it looks cheap and that the cinematography sucks. That could be any further from the truth. Everything about this film struck a chord with me. The only complaint I could possibly make is that Cranston looks a little too old for the part. However, his performance here is undeniably his second best right behind Breaking Bad's Walter White. If you're tired of hearing about Ghostbusters and want to experience a bit of reality, check this out. You won't be disappointed. 

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