Release date:July 15, 2016
Studio:Broad Green Pictures
MPAA Rating:R (for strong violence, language throughout, some sexual content and drug material)
Starring:Bryan Cranston, Diane Kruger, John Leguizamo, Benjamin Bratt, Elena Anaya, Olympia Dukakis, Juliet Aubrey, Amy Ryan
[divider]This film definitely had some serious 180 degree turns and twists in it! It’s almost like an emotional bungee jump. There is the fun of the freefall and then ”SNAP” the cord flings you right back with the sound of a whip!
The story is based off of the true life events of Robert Mazur and his pursuit of the cartels in the 80’s, which is when this film takes place.
This film is one of the most intense movies I have seen in a while! Even with that being said, one of the things I liked about it was the almost stealthy quality of the way presented to us. It lulls you to this near safe place and then “Boom!” the shockwaves start.
From the very beginning we are thrown right into the deep end! We join Robert Mazur (brought to us wonderfully by Bryan Cranston of “Breaking Bad” fame!) in a sting that almost goes horribly wrong and from that moment on we are shown the dangers of his everyday life. The hiding and keeping his family safe, the danger every element. He is working for the US Customs Department where he is working towards knocking out the cartels are practically walking their drugs into the US.
The interesting thing is that the beginning of the film I found myself laughing hysterically! There were several situations as well as fantastic banter that merited this reaction.
There is amazing attention to detail and plenty of time devoted to developing the characters. You definitely feel with them in these different scenarios. You can feel the tension, the joy, and the danger! You really grow to care about these people and the different scenarios that they have to face to do their jobs, whether that be Robert, his partner Emil (portrayed amazingly well by John Leguinzamo), his other partner Kathy (who is brought to us by Diane Kruger , or even his real wife!
We are shown early on the differences in the two lead characters personalities. Their relationship starts out very tenuously as John Leguizamo’s character, Emir is shown to be rather brash and very extroverted. Robert, on the other hand, is very straight-laced and does things, mostly, by the book. This is a very symbiotic relationship as they both need each other to accomplish their goals, which are to bring down the cartels.
The tension of this relationship is best shown when Emir makes an unannounced visit to the motel room where he, Robert, and his family are visiting his Aunt Vicki (played by the talented Olympia Dukakis). This was not a warm welcome on behalf of Robert. However by the end of the conversation there is a moment of trust that is established between them and we see that this is what leads to be a deeper level of infiltration.
One of the aspects of this film that I really enjoyed was the attention to detail regarding the clothes, hair, makeup, and the outside environment. I feel that there are so many areas in this film where they hit the nail on the head! One thing that I didn’t expect was the amount of humor in this movie!
In the beginning I found myself cracking up, but just when you thought you walked into the wrong movie “BAM!!!” You get slammed like a light cycle 90 degree angle wall on the game grid!
From this point on it’s headfirst into a pool of piranhas! He is up to his eyes encartele thugs, fake identities, and criss cross lies, and as Robert he he has to tango his way to the top of this drug fueled food chain.
Set in the 1980s we are in the middle of the Reagan Years War on Drugs and seeing that his office is falling short Robert comes up with the idea of chasing the money instead of chasing the drugs. This brings a whole new level to there endeavors. With the backing of his office and a very strong cover he dives right in, making contacts, and deals in this faced paced section of the film.
Emir handles the street Bangles with the assistance of a very high-priced informant. Aemir sets up the foundation for Robert to start meeting with the bankers, as well as other very important members of the cartels. One complication after another arises, but Robert handle them gracefully.
Like I said earlier the tension does not let up in this film! It’s a fast ball breaking through a police shield! And as I said in the beginning I felt exhausted after watching this film. The film even merited a round of applause from the whole theater!