Title: The Informers
When I heard about The Informers
I was extremely excited to see it. Its all-star cast, which includes Billy Bob Thornton
, Kim Basinger
, Mickey Rourke
, Winona Ryder
, Lou Taylor Pucci
and Brad Renfro
, and its writer Bret Easton Ellis
, were enough to pull me into the theater. After all, I liked Ellis’ American Psycho
and consider Less Than Zero
one of my favorite films. That isn’t the case with The Informers
If trying to get everyone’s story straight wasn’t bad enough, add in some boring acting, average writing and horrible direction and you have one awful movie. When I found out how pissed off the cast and crew were when they discovered that director Gregor Jordan
had done nothing short of destroying the movie’s original concept, I wasn’t very surprised. In fact, writer Ellis said that the original script was nearly 150 pages and that it was cut down to 94 after Jordan came on board, destroying the script’s integrity of an “absurdist, lighthearted and expansive satire.” Actor Brandon Routh
originally had a part in the film, but part of the 50+ page cut meant we went right out the door as well.
Based in Los Angeles in the 1980s, The Informers
follows a string of characters whose main goal in life is to see how far they can push their boundaries until they fuck everything up. At the film’s center is Graham (Jon Foster), an upper class law student who does nothing but take his life for granted. After the death of a friend, Graham and his friends Martin (Austin Nichols
) and Tim (Pucci), along with Graham’s girlfriend Christie (Amber Heard
) decide the only way to deal with it is to be completely reckless. Martin sleeps with both Graham and Christie while Tim decides to take a trip with his father (Chris Isaak
) to Hawaii.
Meanwhile, Graham’s parents, film producer William (Thornton) and pill-popping housewife Laura (Basinger), are poorly attempting to recover from a life of adultery and addiction, the funeral acting as the couple’s first public appearance in some time. William still openly pines for his ex-lover, news reporter Cheryl Layne (Ryder), who wants nothing to do with him.
In separate but still relative stories, Martin’s doorman Tommy (Renfro) and client Bryan Metro, a world-famous rock star, are introduced. Tommy is a struggling actor/doorman who suddenly finds himself in the middle of deal involving his heroin-addicted Uncle Peter (Rourke), an underage girl and a kidnapped boy. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Bryan Metro has it all: fans, money, fame and any lover he wants, but he also has a drug problem that is destroying his band, The Informers
, from moving forward.
Does this sound confusing? Well, it gets worse.
However, as shitty as the film and the situation surrounding the film are, a few performances make the film worth watching. Lou Taylor Pucci as Tim is by far the best performance the film has to offer. In a time where casual sex, extreme drug use and pro-Reagan ideals were “in”, Tim defied what was given to him (except for a few joints). From his sharp and snarky dialogue to a simple eye roll, Pucci displayed 20-something angst perfectly. I’ve seen most, if not all, of his films, and it seems that he only gets better with time.
It’s hard to talk about The Informers without mentioning the late Brad Renfro, who gives a wonderful performance in his last film. His character Tommy is one of the most awkward characters I’ve ever seen on screen. At first, I thought his performance was partly a result of his heroin addiction, but when I looked back on his acting career over the last few years I realized it was entirely made of his talent. His constantly quivering and hunched over body, in addition to the nervousness and stress in his voice, let the audience know that something major happened to him as a child (no doubt at the hands of his uncle) that resulted in his reserved demeanor. Seeing his performance saddens me more, knowing this young talent has gone too early.
IN THE END…
Trust me, this is a LOW rental. While I want to be as pissed off as the cast and crew at how horrible this movie is, the performances from Pucci and Renfro are so great that I can let it slide…temporarily.