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Review: The Infiltrator

Hey Flicker Fans, you know what I like most about movies sometimes? It’s not the special effects, or the fact that most of my childhood comic stories are now being told on the big screen. It’s some of the “true stories” that Hollywood likes to tell for our enjoyment. It’s the bend between what really happened, and what they’ve dug up to make it “movie worthy.” I like the idea of not really being able to tell which is which sometimes, but what I love most about these movies are the photos of the characters our leads are portraying shown at the end. I love the wrap ups. I love the part of the story when they say, “This person is still doing undercover work and did blah, blah, for the next 30 years.” I don’t know why, I just love that shit.

Which brings me to this movie The Infiltrator. Directed by Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer, Runner Runner), this movie is the true story of Robert Mazur trying to find out the money laundering plans involving Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar—sounds cool right? I mean, honestly, if you like drug cartel movies and stories about the glory days of cocaine (that’s a really weird way to describe it, I realize that, but just bear with me alright), but the days of cocaine where the problem was very real in America and Pablo Escobar was the most powerful drug supplier out of Columbia. How big a deal was this guy? He was such a big deal, they’re still making movies and shows about this guy (see Blow (2001), Escobar: Paradise Lost (2014), Narcos (2015)).

So let’s talk about The Infiltrator. Starring Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad, Malcolm in the Middle), John Leguizamo (Ice Age, Romeo and Juliet), and Diane Kruger (Inglorious Bastards, Troy) this movie centers around the success of these very strong personalities coming together, communicating and keeping the secret that they’re U.S. Customs working to take down how the Columbian drug lord launders his money. The movie was good…sort of.

I hate to say that, I really do, “sort of.” But I did have some problems with it. I felt that it was needlessly long. There were scenes that they seemed to drag on and they found ways to jump from one moment to the next without any natural transition in the film. Don’t get me wrong, I get that I’m being a little harsh here, but then again, I’m a critic, not a director.

Honestly, the performances were all fantastic. I am a fan of all the leads in this movie. Cranston, Kruger and Leguizamo are all just fantastic when it comes to their performances. So where does this film fall short you ask? The continuity. It just jumps from one scene to the next with no sense of fluid storytelling. It was kind of like, “hey, we’re talking here and about this and BOOM, now we’re going to talk about this and have this scene.” I felt like half the time I was watching it, I kept wanting to ask the question, “Wait, what?” That being said, you are still able to follow the plot and where things are going, it just seemed a little jumpy—and that sucks because I think the story had real promise. It was an interesting story, and had amazing talent attached to it, but the story also seems—a bit late.

What I mean by that is…this movie was a drug story. While the list that I provided earlier about how popular drug movies are, I feel like this one is just a bit late when it comes to the audience we’re trying to attract. It’s a drug story—that’s kind of it. It’s almost to the effect that, whatever you WANT to happen, happens. And that’s not necessarily a BAD thing, it’s just something that we’re (at least ME as a fan) not really needing. You know where the movie is going to go and you’re just waiting for it to happen. But, like I said, the one thing that I really enjoy about movies like these are the recaps. The recap of where everyone is and what they’re doing now—we get that in this movie, and like I said, I love that shit.

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