Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Informers (2009) 4.25/10


Privileged teens, rockers, and studio executives struggle with their daily lives in 1980's LA.

I had rather low expectations of The Informers going in... and after 97 minutes I can rightfully say it barely lived up to them. Filled with great cinematography, well designed shots, and solid acting, the only thing more depressing than the movie itself is just how bad everything around it is. The characters are all insanely, mind numbingly, rich, but little effort is put into to defining why with all they have they are the way they are.

The teen actors spend most of the movie with a general look of "ugh my life sucks dude," while the adults are all sleazy, drug addicted, pedophiles, or kidnappers. The kids are all drug users, self indulged, and extremely promiscuous... with hints at future troubles through their central girl who seems to have contracted AIDS. You never really feel sorry for these people though, instead you the movie itself seems much like its characters, superior to the audience. We're never allowed really to get to know them, instead we're just allowed to observe them.

Much of this comes from the ensemble, Crash/Magnolia like, nature of the film. Several interconnected characters dealing with their issues, but no closure ever comes. Instead we're left with a bit of bland attempt at making you feel like crap because of these people, but that would only work if you actually cared to begin with. Gregor Jordan seems overly confident that the material speaks for itself and in that judgment has made a big error, forcing upon us a series of characters that come and go, show nothing of any real note, except to say rich people in Hollywood are egotistical and make a crap load of bad decisions... shock value? About a 0 on my scale.

The only real character of note is Jack (Brad Renfro), a secondary character, and part of one of the films subplots (and the only one that's even somewhat resolved). The character is rather sad, but unlike the others manages to stand up against his tough uncle Peter (Mickey Rourke) and do what's right. The only real redeemable character in the film... and to be honest that's pretty sad in and of itself. It's a shame this will be the last film for Renfro.

In the end you won't find much here than an oversexualized teen moppy drama with about as much depth as a 90210 episode, that parades its scenes as if it's somehow doing art.

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