The Infiltrator review: Brian Cranston makes for an underwhelming lead in this coke-fuelled true story

James Luxford
The Infiltrator

In the years since Breaking Bad, Bryan Cranston has struggled as a movie lead, with the underwhelming Trumbo being followed by this true story of Bob Mazur, an undercover customs agent who goes deep into the operations of Pablo Escobar.

Despite a confident performance from Cranston, who skates the line between good and evil as elegantly as he did as with Walter White, this drama misses a killer blow. It’s too straightforward in its approach and exposition slows the momentum built by a largely terrific cast. It also suffers from an oversaturation of thematically similar works, not least Netflix’s Narcos, and The Infiltrator’s stakes feel relatively low by comparison.

Its propensity to revel in the perceived glamour of the situation and reluctance to show the obvious drawbacks makes Brad Furman’s film feel rather two-dimensional. Like Escobar’s gear it gives you a short-lived high but you’d be better off steering clear. Just say no, kids.