The Infiltrator

Movie:  The Infiltrator

Rating:  4 Stars (Out of 5)

Review:   In the 1980s Florida was a clearing house for cocaine.  On an average week, 15 tons of coke was being smuggled in for sale and distribution around the country.  In addition to police and the DEA, the U.S. Customs agents were desperately trying to stem the flow of the illegal drug trade.  One veteran Customs Special Agent, Robert Mazur (Bryan Cranston) spent most of his career going undercover impersonating bad guys, and gathering the intel to bring the real miscreants to justice.  One day Mazur had something of an epiphany.  He told his boss Bonni Tischler (Amy Ryan) that instead of chasing the drugs, let’s try following the money.

Thus began one of the all time major league sting operations, as Robert Mazur was transformed into Bob Musella, a big time financier who doesn’t mind laundering dirty money.  Soon Musella gets nibbles from business types “south of the border”, and the stakes get higher and higher as huge sums of money are laundered through his bogus business organization.  Assisting Agent Mazur is another undercover agent Emir Abreu (John Leguizamo), who lives for the thrill of his undercover life.  Needing a woman to play his fiancé in his high roller life style, Agent Kathy Ertz (Diane Kruger) becomes Mazur/Musella’s full time partner.  Eventually they work their way up the chain of Pablo Escobar’s cartel until they befriend Roberto Alcaino (Benjamin Bratt), a high ranking member of the drug kingpin’s organization.

This is a fascinating story of how the U.S. government fights the drug war, all the more so since this is a true tale of crime and punishment.  Bob Mazur has a real family, and the movie shows how difficult it is for agents to juggle their real lives with their undercover ones, and the very real danger that comes with the job.  Thank goodness our country has such dedicated people to fight the criminal enterprises that will employ any extreme and violent measure to protect their multi billion dollar empires.  This movie is loaded with suspense, and very well done.  I highly recommend it.

Dialogue Nuggets:  Mazur – “These people who sell information always walk on the dirty side of the street.”

Bob – “What do I have to do to make you happy?”  Emir – “Just don’t get me killed.”

Emir to Bob – “You should have f*cked that stripper, done coke, whatever it takes to stay alive!”

Cartel Guy to Bob – “If you see him f*ck a goat, which you might, you must say that’s a good looking goat!”

Emir to Bob – “This is my drug of choice, I love this shit.  Nobody does it better than me.  So listen to me sometimes, will ya?”

Crazy Cartel Guy to Bob – “I will keep my hands off you, if you keep your eyes on my boss’ money.”

Bob – “We like to be nimble with our client’s cash.  How does that sound?”  (Banker happy to oblige)  “Sounds like I came to the right bank.”

Bob’s Real Wife to Bob – “That was the most disgusting, degrading, vicious thing I have ever seen you do.”

Roberto Alcaino – “Who am I to stand in the way of people who want to indulge in self destructive behavior.”

Roberto Alcaino to Bob and Kathy – “Without family or friends, what kind of world would this be?  No reason to be alive.”

Scary Real World Fact:  Every year $2,000,000,000,000 in cash is laundered around the world.  (Yes, that is two trillion dollars)

 

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