The Informer (2020)
Directed by: Andrea Di Stefano Studio: The Fyzz Pictures and Thunder Road Films
Screenwriter: Matt Cook, Rowan Joffe, Andrea Di Stefano Runtime: 1 hr 53 min
Rated: R Cast: Joel Kinnaman, Rosamund Pike, Clive Owen, Common, Ana de Armas
Adapted from: A novel by Börge Hellström and Anders Roslund titled ‘Three Seconds’
Pete Koslow (Joel Kinnaman) is a snitch for the FBI against the Polish mafia drug trade in New York. He is handled by Agent Wilcox (Rosamund Pike) and her boss, Montgomery (Clive Owen). Given the cast of this film, I expected better than it provides. I blame the script; it’s sawdust—a pile of uninspired blandness.
Joel Kinnaman does his best with his material, that is apparent. However, a snitch’s character is not original; going “undercover” in prison is not original or is selling drugs in one. Other films have done a much better job at recycling what amounts to a cliche. The only real save for this film is that it moves from one scene to another at a pace that makes it tolerable to watch in passing.
When I look at the character development, it’s thin as ice, and you can see the cracks. There is an attempt at a family bond between Koslow, his wife (Ana de Armas), and their daughter. Still, the relationship is like fake furniture in a staged house. The mafia leader, his wife, and his head henchmen are devoid of any credibility in their respective roles, stereotypical or otherwise. For the latter, I can’t believe someone wrote characters that come across as such one-dimensional garbage.
Speaking of dimension lacking…Clive Owens character, Montgomery. This is a decent example of an actor taking on a project with little being asked of them while earning a paycheck. The opposite is true of Detective Grens (Common) of the NYPD, who has more to work with, but his position creates accountability questions. In an era where cops in America are disliked more than ever, I don’t know if Grens is meant to come off as a rogue cop or self-entitled, but it’s aggravating to watch.
From start to finish, this film seeks purpose through an uninspiring story and an equally unsatisfying ending. The Informer is a B-level attempt at a crime, drama, thriller. That may be too gracious. For me, this film is an excellent example that just because I like the actors attached to a project doesn’t mean I’ll enjoy it. I’m glad I didn’t have to pay to see this movie. The only thing I lost by viewing it was my time and some brain cells. The trailer for this film is all you need to see.
There are much better films out there to see if this type of genre appeals to you. Skip this one. You won’t miss out by leaving this off your watch list.
—a pen lady