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Bryan Cranston goes undercover in the generic ‘The Infiltrator’

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The Infiltrator

Two and a half stars

The Infiltrator Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo, Diane Kruger. Directed by Brad Furman. Rated R. Now playing citywide.

Has an undercover agent in a movie ever gotten in just deep enough? As soon as U.S. Customs agent Bob Mazur (Bryan Cranston) decides to go undercover as a money launderer in order to bring down associates of notorious drug kingpin Pablo Escobar in the mid-1980s, it’s obvious that he’ll find himself in too deep, that he’ll alienate his family, and that he’ll get too close to the people he’s meant to be investigating. Based on the real-life Mazur’s own book, The Infiltrator may be inspired by true events, but it’s still a generic crime drama, with a central character who remains difficult to read even as he’s drawn into increasingly extreme situations.

After setting up his cover ID, complete with fellow agents as his business partner (John Leguizamo) and fiancée (Diane Kruger), Mazur works his way up the food chain of Escobar associates, but the script by Ellen Brown Furman does a poor job of differentiating the various underworld figures. Eventually Mazur gets close to one particularly ruthless but soulful criminal (Benjamin Bratt), whom he will of course inevitably have to betray. Director Brad Furman (The Lincoln Lawyer) presents it all in a straightforward, no-nonsense fashion, with bland, expository dialogue and an oversaturated color scheme. It sounds and looks exactly like you’d expect from this sort of movie, and it never goes above the bare minimum.

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