Monday, 19 September 2016
REVIEW: THE INFILTRATOR
127 Mins. Starring: Bryan Cranston, Diane Kruger, John Leguizamo, Benjamin Bratt & Amy Ryan. Director: Brad Furman.
Danger comes for the man who knocks just when you thought he was it! As 'Breaking Bad's' Heisenberg breaks into the bait of Oscar season with this Academy touchdown. Bryan Cranston cranks up the action and even trumps his gold statue nominated 'Trumbo' as he plays trumpet blower, undercover narc Robert Mazur, 'The Infiltrator'. Instigating the investigation on drug-lord Pablo Escobar's real-life 'Scarface' 80's coke empire like Netflix's 'Narcos' as he gets his 'Donnie Brasco' on in too Depp deep. Shot with the vintange look of an instant classic and with a jukebox scoring soundtrack that even Tony Montana could spare a few dimes for, this is Cranston's cinematic best. And he was in both the neon City of Angels 'Drive' and the science fiction scripted, real world saver 'Argo'. Go f### yourself if you don't agree his character would say in reply at his undercover acting so good it's 'Goodfellas' intimidatingly scary. Scary how? Like a champagne Pesci! Because as this actor plays a man acting his whole life away, all sorts of walls are broke as Bryan puts it down whilst trying to put out the mobs business of powdered currency like a seedy bar-room ashtray cigarette. Nothing or nobody can infiltrate Cranston here.
Caught in the middle like Malcolm, this may not knock, knock on the door of 'B.B.', but just watch Bryan brutally execute the facade face of liars and killers beautifully. Even if his 80's Magnum P.I. undercover moustache makes him look like he could play a young Stan Lee in the forthcoming film on the Marvel creator...you've seen the mocked up poster too real looking good to be true...well here's what it's from. And to think the 'Batman v Superman' flop had him pegged as the great Lex Luthor villain before Jessie Eisenberg came in to read for another seemingly perfect cast, Jimmy Olsen. Imagine that. Showing a bald part perfect Heisenberg the door for someone they could have just as effectively cast as Luthor's son Alex. It's crazy...no matter how good Eisenberg was he wish Cranston had Jessie's role. At least we get to settle for the Mister Sinister 'Wolverine 3' villain and what could be a cult legendary Power Rangers adversary. Still in all this talk of playing the villain, here is where you'll Bryan really play the part. Even if it puts everything he's ever worked for in the firing line. From the badge to what lies behind it at home. Truth be told, living a lie has never been this real and raw. That's just how effective this acting is. Like a callous caught in the act cover up moment with his hurt wife and a nervous waiter, cruelly victimized to save their lives in a moment of mob madness seen in many a gangster flick that still sticks to the back of your throat like that all too familiar lump you just can't stomach. Trust me this is one time you wish a man forgot an anniversary. Disgusting and diabolical it all comes crashing and falling and tumbling down in a car wreck moment shot so precisely it does exactly that to your shattered nerves. As our leading man crawls torn skin through broken glass as his anxiety cracks and cracks with each bit of pressure fracturing. In a role played that's so far gone into the life that there is a closeness to the criminals more akin with brotherhood than a cousin of Stockholm Syndrome this all cumilates in something as heartbreaking as that 'Breaking Bad' broken plate. And we aren't talking about no Greek wedding...more like a red one.
Partnering up with our leading man as his undercover lover and fake wife in pearls like a princess is Diane Kruger who goes beyond being a beautiful, familair face to show she just may be the next great leading lady with her top-billing breakout moment to the movie mainstream. Now Kruger who got slices of fame in both Brad Pitt's 'Troy' and 'Inglorious Basterds' will be more known for this and whatever this leads to. We all know in this time thin, blue life the real marriage lies with your job and working the role as his partner in mocked up organized crime, John Leguizamo steals scenes and lines as well he does lives and stories. Because Leguizamo shows just how much it really takes to act a life that is so criminal to you that it threatens to strip away all your integrity. But playing it all in the sinister shadows perfectly the supporting actor that is in everything from his best opener, 'Romeo + Julliet' to last years 'American Ultra' (where Jessie Eisenberg first grew those Luthor locks in the guise of a stoner) is a few spotlights away from his Academy acclaim. But you can for sure put this in the top five for a man that's been in more blockbusters and Oscars than most leads combined. Expect more roles for the brilliant Benjamin Bratt too. Another curious case and familiar face that is finally getting his just deserves, showing how much an impact he can have acting as oppossed to the fun frolics of a 'Miss Congeniality' or 'Despicable Me'. Just like the amazing Amy Ryan of 'Gone Baby Gone' and Oscar bait 'Birdman' and 'Bridge Of Spies' fame. Copping an almost cameo role as a lead investigator much more serious than the zappy, taze happy silly one she had with the comedic 'Central Intelligence' of Kevin Hart and The Rock in their scorching Summer smash ride along. It's all run to protocol lay-up perfection from director Brad Furman getting up from the pacy but stumbling 'Runner, Runner' to show he wasn't just a one by the book hit wonder with his adaptation of Michael Connelly's 'Lincoln Lawyer', Matthew McConaughey's redemption, also with Leguizamo in line with blue bloods. Even intensely taught with dread this one is the law. Forget danger, this mob breaker is a real hit. Cranston and company offer you something you can't refuse. The Oscars won't even need to be handed an envelope under the table for 'The Infiltrator'. Everyone is above board here. It's time Hollywood had them all made. TIM DAVID HARVEY.