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THE INFORMERS sucks but not because of bad acting, sez DARK SIDE

Posted on August 27th, 2009
Posted on August 27th, 2009


I can’t get through a Bret Easton Ellis novel but I sure have loved the movies made from his books.  Less than Zero, American Psycho, Rules of Attraction… all great.  I love how he mixes 80’s decadence with cultural decay and urban horror.  His characters are hardly likable but it’s always the grim satirical statement behind the work that I dig so much. 

So when I heard the adaptation of his collection of interlocking short stories The Informers was being dubbed the “worst movie of the year” by many critics, I was disheartened.  How can a movie starring Billy Bob Thorton, Kim Basinger, Winona Rider, Mickey Rourke, Amber Heard, Rhys Ifans, Chris Isaak and Brad Renfro (in his very last performance) go so wrong? 

Set in the early 80’s, the episodic film follows multiple story lines.  One involves a promiscuous bisexual love triangle revolving Amber Heard who “hasn’t been feeling good lately” (hint-hint, AIDS-AIDS).  Another involves another love triangle amongst Billy Bob Thorton, his ex-wife Kim Basinger and news anchor Winona Rider.  Another surrounds the drugged-up lead singer of the band “The Informers” who appears to be self-destructing quickly.  Another involves a young guy who’s morbidly embarrassed by his womanizing, booze-hound of a dad (Isaak).  Yet another puts a doorman (Renfro) at odds with his scary father (Rourke) who has been dealing kidnapped children to a pedophile ring.  Allegedly, yet another sub-plot involving Brandon Routh as a vampire (!?!) was completely cut out of the film. 

Here’s the problem…  NONE of these stories interlock in any meaningful way and only one or two of them have even a fraction of a story arc whatsoever.  The characters go nowhere, learn nothing, threads are cut off and it ends so abruptly, you can hear the entire audience say “WTF?” in unison. 

What’s not the problem…  The acting was brilliant.  Not a weak performance in the house.  The soundtrack was fantastic. Amber Heard proved herself a formidable sex symbol. So much to like in this film… A crying, low-down dirty shame, especially for Renfro who was unfortunate enough to have this be his swan song before dying of an overdose.  Hell, he didn’t even get in the “Dead Celebrity” Oscar montage this year (but probably not because of this film).  What a waste. 

It’s a waste of good talent all the way around actually.  If the filmmakers had bothered to get it edited right, maybe shooting more scenes to wrap up story lines or SOMETHING, this could’ve worked.  Since Ellis wrote a lot of the screenplay himself, he might be partially to blame.  Whatever the case, it simply feels like so much was cut out that it became incomprehensible. There is no third act and no conclusions.

Bollocks to whomever blew this one.  Bollocks and yarbles. 

Ellis has apparently kicked his Hollywood exposure into high gear as of recent, so here’s hoping his next film project won’t get butchered like this one. 

1 and 1/2 stars out of 5

Very cool trailer below for a very poorly put together film…

 

This film got panned at C-C-C-C-Cannes!!!

-Dark Side

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