Directed by Brad Furman and written by Ellen Sue Brown, The Infiltrator stars Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo, and Diane Kruger as an undercover U.S Customs Service Special Forces team in Tampa, Florida in the 1980s. Based on real life events, the film follows the group as they investigate the spiraling paths of the Colombian Drug cartel both in and out of the country and the lengths they will go to keep their identities a secret while trying to bring the head honcho, Pablo Escobar, to justice.
This might sound a bit harsh, but I was never exactly bursting at the seams with excitement for this movie’s release. I saw the trailer once and thought it would be similar to the films Black Mass and Triple 9. The latter I never saw, although it did get some scathing reviews and I found Black Mass to be a bit disappointing as I thought it didn’t live up to the potential that it had originally. That being said, I surprisingly enjoyed this film more than I thought I would. Although I guess that’s what happens when you go in with no expectations. But as soon as I saw the title of the film after the opening sequence, I knew that I was going to be really on board with whatever this movie threw at me and it’s mostly because of the lead, Bryan Cranston.
I seriously can’t think of a time when I didn’t enjoy a performance from this guy. From his time as the famous “Heisenberg” to Lyndon B. Johnson, I think we can add his performance as Robert Mazur to the list of great characters the man has played. Everyone else gave great performances as well. John Leguizamo gives a great performance akin to his role in John Wick but add another layer of sleaze. He brings what you expect him to – a little levity to this dark, crime thriller.
The film kept me on the edge of my seat for a lot of the runtime, which is great because for some reason this movie just felt much longer than 127 minutes. I think it has to do with a lot of the plot being about set up and setting up this plot and setting up this scenario that it just had me waiting for the payoff, but believe me, all of it is worth the wait. There are so many sequences in this movie that just instantly fill you with dread, anticipation, and terror as you watch these events unfold right in front of you, especially the ending sequence.
Overall, I was thoroughly surprised and entertained by this movie’s take on the Sunshine State’s tale of drugs, guns, and crime. It had a gripping, although somewhat unoriginal story; great characters accompanied by fantastic performances from Bryan Cranston and the rest of the team, as well as great direction with intense action scenes.
4 out of 5
Check out Ethan’s video review of The Infiltrator below!