Thursday, January 5, 2017

The Infiltrator (2016) **

The Infiltrator tells the true story of Robert Mazur, a Custom Services Special Agent who in the 1980s worked undercover as a money launderer for the Mexican drug cartels.  Bryan Cranston stars as Mazur in a sort of in-joke performance as the antithesis of his Breaking Bad protagonist Walter White. But the direction, editing, and script are jumpy and fail to establish any momentum.  Mazur is a family man on the verge of retirement who decides to continue his undercover work to bring down Pablo Escobar's drug empire. The story frequently makes awkward transitions between Mazur's dangerous occupation and relatively stable family life. As the film rushes through these plot points there's a total lack of coherence. Fast pace editing when done right can make for dynamic filmmaking, here the frenetic pace induces boredom.  The Infiltrator covers ground done much better in countless other films, most notably Donnie Brasco and Blow. Go back and watch some Breaking Bad episodes.

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