Wednesday, October 19, 2016

The Infiltrator: Breaking Bad in the 80s

I haven't watched Netflix's Narcos so I don't really know a whole lot about Pablo Escobar and his drug empire.  Really by the time he went down I was like 7, so it's not like I was following it on the news back in the day.  Anyway, The Infiltrator is about an undercover agent who helps to bring down Escobar's operation.

Bryan Cranston, who built his own drug empire in Breaking Bad, plays Robert Mazur, a Customs agent who could retire when he's "wounded" by his microphone burning him while on a sting.  Instead he goes undercover as a Mob-connected guy named Bob Musella--the name taken from a tombstone in the cemetery, which is apparently how you came up with aliases before the Internet.  He lures in some low-level players in Escobar's operation and then starts to wrap in the bigger names, up to Escobar himself.

It's not really as interesting as you might think it would be.  There is some gun play and close calls, but Bob is never all that deep into it.  He's not out making drug deals or hanging out with Escobar in Colombia or anything like that.  Mostly he's double-dating with his fake wife (Diane Kruger) and one of Escobar's top men Roberto and his wife.

It's a good reminder that reality, even when you dramatize it, is usually not as exciting as fiction. (2.5/5)

Fun Fact:  I watched part of an interview with Bryan Cranston on 60 Minutes.  Apparently while Walter White and Hal on Malcolm in the Middle wore briefs, the actor prefers boxers.  Yay, journalism!

Bonus:  One of the previews on the DVD was for the Terence Malick film Knight of Cups.  It stars Christian Bale as an uninspired Hollywood writer who has problems and does...stuff.  I put it on mostly because it was free on Amazon Prime and it was Sunday night and I thought it'd put me to sleep.  It couldn't even do that effectively!  The best way to describe it is that it's like a 2-hour cologne/perfume commercial.  You know, the kind with some big celebrity wandering around to pretentious, "symbolic" imagery with a breathless voiceover.  Like Malick's Tree of Life it's a pretty vanilla story with a lot of showy visuals to make it seem weighty.  Tony Laplume will love it.  Normal people, not so much. (1/5) (Fun Fact:  Instead of this, rent The Lost Weekend, Sunset Boulevard, Leaving Las Vegas, or Permanent Midnight, all of which do a better job with Hollywood writers who have problems.)

1 comment:

  1. Sounds good, but then again I'll watch anything with Bryan Cranston in it...

    ReplyDelete

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