Bit of an under the radar release this one. In fact it’s fair to say that it’s media profile wasn’t so much low as non-existent, I think I only saw one trailer in the run-up to release and it looked fairly generic and nondescript, but with us being in a release lull lately, I wasn’t spoiled for choice this week.
It’s release schedule also appears to be from opposite land, as it’s release here in the U.K. predates the USA release by almost half a year, as it won’t be released for our American cousins until January next year, which is odd for a U.S based film, although it was a U.K. production apparently, it just gets stranger with this film.
Anyways, let’s get in with the review.
A convicted felon (Joel Kinnaman) working as an informer for the FBI, gets caught up in a drugs sting gone bad, which ends up with a police officer being killed, he then has to survive prison without being found out as a ‘snitch’.
The Informant is a tough one to review, admittedly, and I can see why it didn’t have a big promotional push prior to release as it’s a tough film to sell.
On the surface, it has all the hallmarks of a straight-to-DVD action film that you’d find in the bargain bucket, except with maybe a fatter budget and more relevant talent.
It’s plot is a product of this comparison, very much a paint-by-numbers tail of an unlikely police informant and his dealings in organised crime, as a result, all of the characters seem like tired archetypes, especially our leading character, Joel Kinnaman seems to be doing his best, but there’s no reason to like his character. The film tries to make him sympathetic by giving him a wife and child, but this is a shallow attempt at characterisation that falls flat.
Direction and cinematography-wise, it’s also very pedestrian. It uses the dull colour palate that most dark and gritty crime dramas have that don’t help with the feeling that we’ve seen everything this film has to offer a million times before.
As a whole, it’s competent, but unexciting. Its plot makes sense and it’s put together well, so if that was the intention then those lofty ambitions have been realised, but I feel like it’s an u inspired film that even the studio didn’t have much faith in, and if they don’t believe in it, who are we to argue?