A superb, emotional insight into undercover work.
Based on a true story, U.S. Customs agent Robert "Bob" Mazur (Bryan Cranston) goes deep undercover to infiltrate Pablo Escobar's blood-soaked drug trafficking scene plaguing the nation in 1985 by posing as slick, money-laundering businessman Bob Musella. Teamed with impulsive and streetwise fellow agent Emir Ebreu (John Leguizamo) and rookie agent posing as his fiancé Kathy Ertz (Diane Kruger), Mazur befriends Escobar's top lieutenant Roberto Alcaino (Benjamin Bratt).
I didn’t know what to expect with this film, there’s very little promotional material or online hype about it. However, I was amazed - this is perhaps Bryan Cranston’s best performance in a drama. His emotional depth is portrayed eloquently and he has an ability to make the audience empathise with him all the way through the film. Diane Kruger is also sublime and the rest of the ensemble cast all hold their own.
The script is written, so that by the end of the film you feel sorry for the criminals he’s been undercover with. This is an interesting play and separates this from an average biographical cop film. The family elements and the affect the undercover work has on his personal life is also a nice change from the stock-standard plot. At times in the middle the pace slowed a little, but not enough to majorly detract from the film.
Overall an intense film, with a strong script and exceptional, emotional performances.
Review by Benjamin Maio Mackay
Screening courtesy of Palace Nova Cinemas