July 24, 2009
Everyone’s got it in for The Informers. And the chances are they’re right. But there was something about this film that meant I had to see it. Not just because I’ve got my cinema pass allowing me to see as much rubbish as I can, all for £16.50 a month. It was something to do with the casting, the 80’s, the soundtrack, the writer.
The film kicks off with New Gold Dream (81/82/83/84) by Simple Minds. At that point I was already gving it 5 stars. And look at the cast; Billy Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger, Mickey Rourke, Winona Ryder, Chris Isaak and um, Rhys Ifans. And Bret Easton Ellis; an author who can make me laugh out loud and then, as he did with American Pyscho, make me put down a book and not be able to pick it up again for a good three days.
I like Easton Ellis and his washed out eighties nostalgia thing. Look at that poster; greed,sex, youth, and a ghost of a blank statue; a replicant heading to Cardiff to kiss Captain Jack.
The 80’s of Easton Ellis is something I know nothing of, other than from his books and his films. I wasn’t greedy, sex was hard and my youth? Well, I dressed it up in the clothes of old men. I was what became known in the 90’s as a shoegazer, but in the eighties we were just slopey kids in our dads coats. So, glamorous people taking drugs and having wasted sex were sort of appealing. And I think that’s the Easton Ellis joy; have your cake and eat it; be appealing, be appalling. Celebrate and condemn. Bret Easton Ellis makes me feel like I lived in an 80’s that I never actually lived in. If I try really hard, I can even convince myself I once went out with Kim Basinger.
Kim Basinger, Billy Bob Thornton, Mickey Rourke. These are people I’d happily watch in anything. I’d watch them eat chips. But in this film, in this film where they really should shine, they’re wasted. Particularly Mickey. He’s one of the greats, and he’s back on the scene. He’s the nearest we’ve got to a next generation Bogart. But in this, he’s just mucking around in some sub sub-plot, kidnapping a kid for reasons that are never made clear. I can see why people are starting to use Mickey again, but I think it’s for the wrong reason; it’s because he comes with his own costume.
And Chris Isaak, he’s off in one of the other stories (this film wants to be a compendium but it’s like the smashed up pick n’ mix counter in a post apocalypse Woolworths) taking his son off on holiday to Hawaii. I love Chris Isaak (he swung his pants with me) but he acts like Mark Kermode on methadone; he’s Kurt Russell’s stunt double after one too many duff falls.
So, it’s not a good film. And it lacks the fun of The Rules of Attraction and American Psycho. I guess we’ll just have to wait for the film version of Lunar Park to get the old joker Bret back. A final plus point; it has Simple Minds and Wang Chung. And Men in Hats;
I say, we can dance if we want to
We can leave your friends behind
‘Cause your friends don’t dance and if they don’t dance
Well they’re no friends of mine