Last Friday, the long awaited Ghostbusters reboot/sequel/revamp/thing came out but I decided not to see it. I believe the movie as a whole would be halfway decent but it’s one of those movies where people will like it or hate it based on how they feel about it going in. So instead of praising it like the second coming of Christ or crucifying it with big rusty nails, I decided to see the new movie starring Walter White…I mean Bryan Cranston, The Infiltrator.
Story: The story follows Robert Mazur, a US Customs agent trying to bust Pablo Escobar’s money laundering trade. What I truly enjoyed about the story is that it doesn’t feel like a big mission from the start. What I mean by that is it starts with Mazur following a small tip and slowly builds to the big story (and bust) that it is. Additionally, I’d give the movie extra points for how they show the stress of working undercover; there is a shot where Mazur and one of his partners see all the people they’ve falsely befriended right before they get busted and it is a fantastic shot. However, I remove these points for the family angle they play during the film. It feels out of place and is a waste of time. They could have saved some money by having Cranston wear a sign that says “I love my family.” All that being said, it was a good story that made me feel for (most) of the characters.
Acting: Dr. Tim Whatley… I mean Bryan Cranston does a good job, as he typically does; he does a good job of portraying Mazur and the complexities of his character. However, there were times where his acting is copied and pasted right out of one of his other works. The scene that comes to mind is where he makes a scene in a restaurant to keep his cover, yet his actions are straight out of his old Breaking Bad scripts. Cranston usually does a good job of separating his roles from one another but this was a rare occurrence where he was not able to do that. Aside from Cranston, the rest of the cast is pretty good in my book but unfortunately are pretty forgettable.
Presentation: The movie certainly looks like it’s right out of the 80s and the soundtrack reflects this; while the pairing is odd, the sounds match the decade. There are some weird shots throughout the movie that break the immersion, but I’m just nitpicking at this point
Effect: Despite being predictable at times, I was on the edge of my seat for most of the movie, something I haven’t felt in a crime drama in a while. By the end of the film, I really cared for the characters and what happened to them.
Other: While this movie was great and I’d recommend it, I have to take points away for the availability of the movie. The movie came out on Wednesday (which is odd on its own) and was only in two theatres in the area, forcing me to drive 30 minutes to downtown WPB. In addition, I’m also going add a point to correct for any negative bias since I saw the movie in a fiery inferno of a movie theatre; the air-conditioning was broken in the theatre. I’m doing this because I’m not sure if some of my negative comments are because I thought it was bad or if I was just annoyed because it was hot.
Despite one of Hal’s…I mean Cranston’s weaker roles, The Infiltrator was fantastic. The best crime drama I’ve seen in quite some time. Definitely better than Ghostbusters.