‘The Infiltrator’


Follow the money


Jonathan Kane is a graduate of the University of Michigan.
Jonathan Kane is a graduate of the University of Michigan.

Follow the money. That’s easier said than done. Especially in Florida in 1986 as Pablo Escobar’s Medellin drug cartel is pouring tons of cocaine into the U.S. and figuring out a way to launder billions of dollars.

That’s when former IRS agent and now U.S. Customs agent Bob Mazur went undercover to follow the money trail rather than bust the drugs that could easily be replaced. His story now is a fine, taut thriller called “The Infiltrator,” based on his 2009 memoir. In the end, Mazur’s work led to the arrest of 85 drug lords and the destruction of one of the biggest banks in the world – Bank of Credit and Commerce International.

Deftly directed by Brad Furman off a great script from his mother, Ellen Brown Furman, the movie also boasts an excellent cast and some fine performances – chief among them being Bryan Cranston as Mazur, as well as his undercover, high-flying, money-laundering alter-ego Bob Musella. Cranston has to play a quiet family man working for the government with a wife and kids as well as the slick Musella and he pulls off the tightrope walk to perfection.

As his accomplice is the perfectly cast John Leguizamo – great as always – and newcomer Diane Kruger in a stunning turn as the undercover agent that poses as Cranston’s fiancée. Benjamin Bratt also excels as the man closest to Escobar that Cranston seduces to get the bust.

Throughout the film, the danger of working undercover as well as the sheer audacity of being in such a dangerous position is compellingly wrought. The action never wanes and the precariousness of Cranston’s position will keep you on edge throughout.

“The Infiltrator” is a fine break from the summer’s other big-budget entertainments.