The Infiltrator

[2.5 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

One for the "Wish I liked it better" classification.

Bryan Cranston moves to the other side of the drug war here, playing real-person Robert Mazur, an undercover agent for US Customs and the DEA. He poses as a money launderer, and the movie details how he wormed his way into the workings of the Pablo Escobar drug cartel.

The standard tropes of the genre are here. Mazur feels some pangs of sympathy for the drug lords he's working to imprison. (They are family guys, just like him!) He has a fake wife, which causes issues for his real wife. The criminals are naturally suspicious, and willing to shoot people on the merest suspicion that they're … doing exactly what Mazur is doing.

The movie is set in the 1980's, there's also a (tedious) political angle involving Reagan, the CIA, Contras, "Just Say No", etc. Drug-smuggler-turned-informant-turned-corpse Barry Seal shows up, fictitiously getting murdered in front of Mazur. CIA hit? Maybe!

On the plus side: the great John Leguizamo has a meaty role. Wish the whole movie had been about his character.

URLs du Jour

2016-12-30

Whoa, that's a lot of snow out there. Hope I can find my shovel.

  • Wouldn't it be nice: Abolish the Department of Energy. Stephen Green:

    The Department of Energy was created to solve a problem that didn’t exist and protect us from a threat we didn’t need to worry about — so of course it can never be abolished.

  • Kevin D. Williamson has thoughts on the cult of the US Presidency.

    The idea that a large, complex society enjoying English liberty could long endure without the guiding hand of a priest-king was, in 1776, radical. A few decades later, it became ordinary — Americans could not imagine living any other way. The republican manner of American presidents was pronounced: There is a famous story about President Lincoln’s supposedly receiving a European ambassador who was shocked to see him shining his own shoes. The diplomat said that in Europe, a man of Lincoln’s stature would never shine his own shoes. “Whose shoes would he shine?” Lincoln asked.

    Kevin was optimistic yesterday, today… not so much. Evolutionists would point out that humans lived for many millennia in tribes, where the masses remained servile to their leaders. Are we regressing?

  • See Omri Ceren on John Kerry's pointless, petulant speech on Israel. He notes that the speech seems to have been written in some sort of alternate universe. Example:

    To address concerns that the U.S. abandoned Israel in an unprecedented way by abstaining, Kerry sketched a version of past U.S. diplomacy where the abstention was nothing new. In that alternate timeline, the U.S. would not have made a radical move by reversing past policy, and would be merely upping the volume against Israeli settlements. But that’s not our timeline.

    In our timeline the abstention reversed past U.S. policies on a range of core issue, perhaps nowhere more dramatically than in declaring East Jerusalem occupied Palestinian territory. Kerry said on Wednesday “Now you have heard that some criticize this resolution for calling East Jerusalem occupied territory. But to be clear, there was absolutely nothing new in last week’s resolution on that issue.”

    Clearly untrue, as Ceren points out. Kerry and Obama can't get out of town fast enough.

  • Mark Steyn's post today hits a lot of topics. One more victim of the Carrie Fisher PC cops: ex-husband Paul Simon; Debbie Reynolds; the idiocy of the recent Mann v. Steyn ruling. On the Kerry speech:

    The phrase that struck me that Kerry used: 'America can't stand idly by' - because of these Israeli settlements. 'Stand idly by' has been the Obama modus operandi in that region since he took office. He has stood idly by as half a million people have died in Syria, and Iraq has been swept by ISIS. Millions and millions of people have been set loose across the region, so-called refugees destabilizing American allies in Europe...

    But what really upsets them is Jews living where they would prefer they didn't.

  • Oh, yeah. That whole "Russia hacked our elections thing." Iowahawk says just about all that needs be said:

    The funny thing (in some sense of "funny"): Obama didn't take Russian "hacking" seriously before the election, when action could possibly have been effective at stopping … something or other. His only purpose here is to throw up Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt around the legitimacy of the election and about-to-be-President Trump.

  • This is Pun Salad, so:

    Consumer note: they aren't all gems.


Last Modified 2016-12-30 12:06 PM EST