Bryan Cranston will never be free of Walter White. Since ‘Breaking Bad’, he’s portrayed an egotistical Hollywood screenwriter (‘Trumbo’), a conspiracy-minded scientist (‘Godzilla’) and a backroom-dealing president (in TV movie ‘All the Way’) – and they all came out as hyper-articulate, professorial meth kingpins.
So call it a good thing that Cranston’s latest role has him playing a decent family man who goes undercover as a high-rolling money launderer for drug dealers. Is that in any way a challenge for him? Who cares? Cranston is effortless in the Donnie Brasco-like role, slowly getting used to the cigars, the strip clubs and the flashy agent pretending to be his trophy wife (Diane Kruger).
‘The Infiltrator’ works best when it owns its ‘Miami Vice’-ish sizzle. Composer Chris Hajian breaks out the synthesizers, and ’80s decadence wafts off-screen. You’ve seen it all before, and even though this is a true story of a heroic fed (Robert Mazur), you can’t help but expect the usual bloody retribution at the end. It never arrives, and that feels weird.