Director: Gregor Jordan
Starring: Billy Bob Thornton, Mickey Rourke, Winona Ryder, Kim Basinger, Amber Heard, Chris Isaak, Brad Renfro
Based on the book by Bret Easton Ellis (American Psycho) and featuring a cast of great actors, there was never any doubt I'd be checking this movie out.
With rampant sex, drug use, gratuitous nudity and outstanding use of period music, The Informers is an experience more than a film. As a slice of life evoking a specific time period, the film works extraordinarily well. As a complete story, not so much.
Set in 1983 Los Angeles, a time when materialism and vanity, sex, drugs and living the high life became available to a greater and greater amount of people. A time when AIDS was secretly spreading throughout the community, and about to reach the wider public consciousness, and in so doing instigate a sea-change in attitudes towards sex. It cannot be over-stated what an effect AIDS had ... little was known about this mysterious disease except that it killed, there was no cure, and you got it from having sex.
Introducing a large cast of characters of dubious moral fibre, the movie creates a subtle web of inter-relationships linking them together. However, the multiple story arcs while tangentially related, come to no explicit conclusion, and the film ends feeling like it finished abruptly halfway through. Even so, the message left at the end is clear enough, and the viewer is left to fill in the rest of the details themselves. For many viewers, especially those preferring their movies with a neat ending, this will seem like a cop out. For others, it will give pause for reflection.
Perhaps the point is that there was no point. Nothing but living for the moment, for the thrills, for the rush ... oblivious to the consequences. It was all about enjoying the 'now', and then it ended. And so with this movie.
Myself, I would've preferred to see the movie go further ... if only for the fact that I was so thoroughly enjoying the movie and the characters that I didn't want it to end. But the structure is what the author and director intended, and while it won't be to every movie-goers taste, I admire that they had the balls to do something different.
I loved this movie for every minute of its running time... superb acting, direction, cinematography and all the polish that we expect from Hollywood these days. Combined with a story of 80's decadence makes it a winner for me, but then I'm a sucker for anything with a sex, drugs and rock'n'roll theme.
Of special note is the score by Christopher Young, a smooth and contemporary vibe that sounds great, mixed in with a well chosen '80's soundtrack that suits the movie to a tee. This movie sounds fantastic. Special mention also to Amber Heard, the blonde nymphette who provides most of the film's gratuity and looks memorably fabulous while doing it.
Cuts on the soundtrack include: Simple Minds, Wang Chung, Pat Benatar, Men Without Hats, Gary Numan, and A Flock of Seagulls.