By JP Carroll
“The Infiltrator” hit theaters July 13 and is the thriller of this summer, with Bryan Cranston leading the way in this 1980s, glamorous narco-adventure.
Cranston, the former “Breaking Bad” star, plays Robert Mazur, a U.S. Customs agent based in Florida who goes after the money behind Medellin Cartel kingpin Pablo Escobar and his global cocaine empire. Mazur’s tale is based on the autobiographical book retelling his exploits while working for the IRS, U.S. Customs, and the DEA.
In the film, Mazur leads an undercover double-life. He must convince deadly drug barons that he is actually Robert Musella, a New Jersey fraudster who manages the money of the New York mafia dons.
Cranston is convincing as an undercover agent due to his acting, co-stars and spot-on scenery. “The Infiltrator” stunningly demonstrates the accuracy of Mazur’s suburban life and the toll his work takes on his family.
Some of the greatest scenes in the film have nothing to do with violent confrontations between Mazur and cartel killers, but take place in his home as he deals with the consequences his career has on his family.
Another particularly authentic performance is rendered by supporting actor John Leguizamo, who plays the role of Mazur’s partner, Emir Abreu. While Leguizamo is great in his role and makes excellent use of his perfect Spanish to set the scene in 1980s Florida, he suffers from a lack of time on-screen.
Mazur’s fake fiancee for his mission, German actress Diane Kruger, turns in an emotional performance as rookie Customs agent Kathy Ertz. The duo convince everyone around them that they are the U.S. money laundering power couple.
Despite an over-simplification of 1980s era U.S. intelligence gathering by the CIA, a point that is resentfully emphasized clearly by Mazur, the film makes for solid, summer entertainment. This thoughtful thriller should be seen by anyone that is a fan of Netflix’s series”Narcos.”