‘The Infiltrator’ BluRay Review: Bryan Cranston Carries This Thriller
The Infiltrator is a slow movie, but boy does it pick up. Covering the C-Chase case, the movie covers the investigation and undercover infiltration of the cartel in the 1980’s, prior to and during President Ronald Regan’s war on drugs.
The movie starts with a montage informing the audience about the history of the cartel in the 1980’s. Bryan Cranston, Robert Mazert in this movie, walks into a 1985 bowling alley in Tampa, Florida, and flirts with the bartender. A man meets with him, Frankie, and after trading a bag, they leave with Robert appearing to have a problem with his pancreas. The police come around the same time, arresting them both, yet the paddy wagon Robert is pushed into asks if he’s okay.
It is revealed that he is an undercover FBI agent, burning his possibly IDs. He talks with an old woman who warns him of the future. There is an exceedingly quick police meeting and a quick court appearance of a criminal who is denied parole. John Leguizamo plays Emir Abreu, who tells Robert of possible informants yet is in turn met with hostility.
Emir meets with an informant while Robert and Steve Cook, played by Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, jog together. Emir and Robert make fake IDs after meeting in a graveyard. Emilio appears to have betrayed Robert through a conversation with his informant with the informant’s friends. Later, he interrupts his kid’s PTA meeting to spy on a meeting between cartel workers. Unfortunately, two of them get drunk and Robert is trapped in a closet. Robert attempts to get by the sleeping drunk, but is caught by the man on the couch in a very tense scene.
After yelling at Emir for almost getting him killed, Robert meets with a criminal who he treats nicely for information. He meets for an interview with a fake resume so quick that makes you wish getting a job was this simple during this day and age. He meets as his fake persona at a neon strip club. The business deal goes well, and Robert is gifted a stripper, whom he declines, inventing a fake fiancé.
After yelling at Robert for almost getting them killed, they meet with the boss at “Robert’s mansion in Jersey.” He requests a face-to-face with the man who runs the transport, but he tells them to slow down. The boss draws a picture of him before touching him. His grunts talk to Robert, telling him that he has to have sex with him to make the deal. This is a joke, but at the same time, he risks their lives by refusing them yet again.
They assign him a woman to fake being his fiancé. He seems to have screwed up. He meets with the banker, and after telling them his client sells cocaine, the scene becomes tense as the CEO comes in with security. They eventually agree to represent him under their terms. He goes for a job, tailed by a car. He comes home, finding out it’s he and his wife’s anniversary. When they go to a restaurant, he runs into a cartel member and tell him his wife is his secretary. When the waiter comes to give him a happy anniversary chocolate cake, he flips out on him, disgusting his wife in the process yet winning the cartel’s trust.
He meets a man at dog races before they are shot at on the way home, the crashes and Robert has to stay quiet about it. Robert insists that he meets with the bosses of the drug cartel, but the man who once touched his butt insists he be patient. Suddenly, we cut to Robert being driven on a truck blindfolded to meet with some voodoo guy, who completes a ritual that kills the man next to him, yet leaves him to walk away, blessed.
Then my dog threw up. Sorry, let me clean that up. It’s always on the rug, absolutely always, she never misses. Sometimes she pees on the rug, too. It’s honestly concerning, we can’t let her into the family room anymore. I hope she’s okay. Anyway, Robert meets with an obviously powerful, confident man, Alcano. Robert meets Alcano with his fake fiancé and the old woman from before returning as Aunt Vicky, telling Robert to “watch this” before she acts. On a plane, Robert, his fiancé, and Alcano before having dinner with Alcano’s wife and child at home. On the television, they show the car crash.
Emir’s original informant demands more money or else he will rat. When he attempts to do so, Emir tricks the others into thinking the informant stole from them. The boss of the group tell him, “I f*cking love you, man. Because the only thing I really care about – is money.” His bald friend shoots him in the back of the head, Emir hiding his horror behind a smile.
Robert is mailed, to his home address, a bloody coffin. His daughter finds the package before him. The criminal Robert is working with describes to him a scary scene, where he and his family are murdered. His wife leaves him like a real supportive champ. After discussing business with Alcano and Escabar’s message, he asks the bank to falsify the records, which they agree to. After a dinner with more higher-ups, he meets with other people, one of which is the drugged up boss who grabbed his butt, yet notices the recording in his briefcase. After dancing with his wife in a risqué bar, the man grabs Robert and says “I know who the f*ck you are” before getting shot with a silenced pistol multiple times in the side.
Robert and his fake fiancé are a bit shaken up, to say the least. Don Chepe and Pablo Escabar meet with them before they leave. The fiancé meets with Robert’s wife, and she convinces his wife through a well-crafted speech that he still loves her and would never cheat on her. The powerful man and his wife are arrested, the man resisting and escaping as the BCC executive makes a speech. Robert and his “fiancé” meet with the man’s wife, and the fiancé is moved to tears, feeling terrible.
Steven, Emir, and Robert meet up at Robert’s October wedding. Alcano arrives at the wedding, taking on another persona. The wedding begins, and the bride and groom look at those family and friends gathered around them. The police then come and the ceremony erupts into chaos. Dogs, gunshots and betrayal.
After the team goes their separate ways, the ensuing montage explains what happened to all of the characters in real life.
For a 2016 movie, The Infiltrator is average for the first 40 minutes, before becoming an entirely different movie. Like a true thriller, the movie is hard to predict until it reaches its conclusion, as most true stories tend to be. Cranston carries the entire movie on his back, with Leguizamo serving as a respectable supporting actor, in fact, I was disappointed there was so little of him in the movie. The first 30 minutes focus on explanation and setting up the plot, most of which was hard to follow; fast-paced during important intervals and slow-paced during boring, unimportant intervals. Special features include audio commentary with director Brad Furman and Cranston, six deleted scenes, “the three bobs,” and a how-to on infiltrating for all you sneaky sons of Robertches. I would recommend this for any mature audience who loves thrillers, or if you simply want to see Cranston for over an hour. Honestly, I wouldn’t blame you.