Sunday, 25 September 2016

'The Inflitrator' Review

Bryan Cranston really seems to be able to do no wrong recently and 'The Infiltrator' backs that up. Where Cranston shines, the film slowly follows as the film takes its time to reach its true quality.

In 1986, federal agent Robert Mazur (Bryan Cranston) goes undercover to infiltrate the trafficking network of Colombian drug kingpin Pablo Escobar. Working alongside fellow agents Kathy Ertz (Diane Kruger) and Emir Abreu (John Leguizamo), Mazur poses as a slick, money laundering businessman Bob Musella. After gaining the trust of Roberto Alcaino (Benjamin Bratt), one of Escobar's top lieutenant's, Mazur must navigate his way around the criminal underground where one mistake could cost him everything.

Following the huge success of 'Breaking Bad' and off the back of an Academy Award nomination for 'Trumbo', Bryan Cranston is continuing to show why he is one of the best working actors today. Cranston has incredible range and this is shown throughout the film in a number of different ways. He's really allowed to showcase a large number of his talents in 'The Infiltrator' as he delivers great serious scenes portraying Musella but also moments where we see his character as a true family man. Cranston really is a remarkable talent and this performance more than backs it up.

Despite Cranston delivering another great performance, he cannot fully carry the movie to success. 'The Infiltartor' really struggles to find a main focus early on, both in the story and in tone. The film introduces us to a lot of characters early on and it isn't until later on in the film when Alcaino is introduced that the film really finds its main focus. Those who we meet beforehand don't get much time to be fully introduced and aren't interesting enough for you to become fully interested in. Alcaino then is introduced and the story focuses between his and Mazur's relationship and is where the film really improves and flourishes. 

The tone early on the film seems fairly lighthearted with comedy moments being very apparent. This does not help the film for one as the moments don't deliver as well as they could leaving the comedy to fall fairly flat. This also takes away from the tension that the film possesses when Mazur is in these potentially dangerous situations. Due to the comedy incorporated into these scenes and into the build up, the suspense doesn't work that well. Again, going back to the previously mentioned point, the film seems to sort this when Roberto Alcaino is introduced. The film then doesn't use as much comedy which really makes the situations and relationships in the film much more effective. It takes its time to reach this point but when it gets there, the film becomes so much better.

The relationship between Mazur and Alcaino is the strongest part of the film - alongside Cranston's performance - as the bond between the two is very interesting. We see that throughout the film, the pair grow to genuinely become friends and this also has to do with the great performances from Cranston and Bratt. The pair work very well with each other and create a true bond of comradery. The way that the pair bond despite the relationship being built on lies was very intriguing. This added a very interesting look to how people like Mazur would work and how tough their job would be. One mistake could cost them everything which the film does well do emphasise, as Mazur has to keep his real life a secret at all times. Due to this, the film becomes fairly tense as there are moments where he could be exposed at any moment. These work very well in the film especially as the film gets closer to the end.

Overall, I feel that is the best way to describe the film. The further on you get, the higher the quality is. A stuttering start with comedy elements doesn't work too great but Cranston pulls through this and delivers a great performance, as does Benjamin Bratt and Diane Kruger who compliment Cranston very well. A very interesting story which unfortunately wasn't consistent all the way throughout.

Final Verdict = 

So have you seen 'The Infiltrator'? If so what did you think of it? I hope that this review was useful for if you were planning on seeing this movie. Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor