"Everyone has a price, the important thing is to find out that price.", Pablo Escobar. The Infiltrator showcases that infamous drug dealer Pablo Escobar wasn't always right. Click through for my review of Broad Green Pictures latest film, THE INFILTRATOR.
Director Brad Furman takes a major step up as a filmmaker with this powerful and tension filled thriller that highlights the brave cops who infiltratored the world's most well known drug kingpin. Mixes elements of Cocaine Cowboys with the style and feel of Donnie Brasco, Furman allows his talented actors to shine. The acting is lead by a stand out performance from Bryan Cranston. His quiet moments are just as powerful as his more explosive out bursts, but the real life character of ROBERT "BOB" MAZUR seems fully realized on screen. We see the life kept in the shadows and the many faces BOB had to put on while being in that other "life". Working off Cranston is a game John Leguizamo who gives an honest and bold performance as EMIR ABREU. Keeping on the side of the cops are two great performances from Amy Ryan (BONNIE TISCHLER – wanted MORE!) and Diane Kruger (KATHY ERTZ). Kruger's amazing acting range is once again showcased with the confident rookie cop thrown deep into the rich world of the drug game. The performance is so different and compelling from her tremendous role on TV's THE BRIDGE that Kruger continues to impress.
The real power behind the film though is in the believability of the ruthless nature of Escobar's group. Benjamin Bratt shines brightly as ROBERTO ALCAINO, the highest figure the cops infiltrate in the Escobar organization. The outlandish life style of ALCAINO and his friends is fully highlighted in the film and adds so much to the financial scale of the drug game in the 1980s. Bratt also delivers one of the most damning lines in the film, he ask the important question of who is benefitting most from the cocaine drug war….THE US GOVERNMENT. Cranston, Kruger, Bratt and Elena Anaya give wonderful scenes of two couples befriending each other. But the movie's real stars are all the eccentric figures that pop in and out of Mazur's world. The Colombians figures like the MORAS. JR is played brilliantly by scene stealer RUBEN OCHANDIANO and SR by wily SIMON ANDREU. YUL VAZQUEZ's over-the-top performance as JAVIER OSPINA is one of the best in the film. SAID TAGHMAOURI and JOSEPH GILGUN's performances beg for more time, but as usual they deliver in every short sequence they are in. The acting is the real highlight of the film and worth your money alone. Easily one of the more well acted films to release this summer.
The cinematography by up and coming Joshua Reis keeps a significant pace that allows for the tension to continue scene to scene. As the stakes rise so does our accent into the criminal hierarchy and Reis' cinematography showcases more grandiose world of 80's USA. Overall the film seems like a huge step up for the talented team behind filmmaker Furman. Luckily his veteran cast never allows the violence or gangster bravado to out mask the intelligent work done by the infiltrators. The best scenes all have slight subtle characteristics. From OSPINA's important "drawings", ALCAINO's lavish lifestyle and gifts, and Leguizamo's dirty look and style all are well done touches that highlight the film.
The movie isn't as in depth and thorough as NARCOS or COCAINE COWBOYS or the ESCOBAR docs that have preceded. But the film's tension filled non-stop pace and quality acting links itself with other great "infiltration" films like Donnie Brasco.
The Infiltrator is in theaters today and worth your time!
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