I heard grumblings from two guys who were leaving the theater behind me after seeing THE INFILTRATOR that this movie did not have nearly enough action/bloodshed for them. I think they were expecting another SCARFACE or GOODFELLAS. That is not what this movie is. This movie is a character study of a man who goes undercover with the Pablo Escobar drug cartel and develops relationships/friendships with these bad guys in order to bring them down. The real conflict in this film is not the action, but rather, the RE-ACTION of "the infiltrator" - will he remember that he is just playing a role to bring down the bad guys, or will he lose himself in the role and the relationships and become a bad guy himself?
If you are looking for an action movie, this movie will be a little too slow for you. If you are looking for good acting and a strong character study, then this is a very enjoyable film.
Much of that enjoyment hinges on the performance of Bryan Cranston as Robert Mazur, "The Infiltrator". We follow him as he dives deep into this criminal organization. Cranston is in about 90% of the scenes of this movie, so his performance better be strong or this will be one long movie, indeed. Fortunately for us, his performance is better than strong. He continues his string of fascinating/watchable performances and he more than anchors this film and makes it worth watching.
Ably assisting him is a strong supporting cast - Amy Ryan (as his boss), Jason Issaacs (somewhat wasted as the District Attorney), Benjamin Bratt (as one of the main bad guys), Olympia Dukakis (in a fun turn as his aunt) and Diane Kruger (defying age as another agent posing as his fiancé - when I first saw her I thought "that's a young Diane Kruger" until I realized it WAS Diane Kruger!). Finally, John Leguizamo as Mazur's partner, Emir Abreu is TERRIFIC. The best performance I've seen from him in quite some time. If this movie was a little better and a little later in the season, I'd be touting him for an Academy Award nomination.
If you want blood, guts and action, wait for the Jason Bourne film. If you want an interesting, gripping film that is well acted check out the Infiltrator - you'll be glad you did!
7 (out of 10 stars) and you can take that to the Bank (of Marquis)