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April 10, 2020

The Informer (2020) --- “Between Power, Corruption, And Vengeance, Every Moment Could Be His Last.”


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Hello, Movie Buffs!
     After being honorably discharged Special Ops soldier Pete Koslow (Joel Kinnaman) is sent to jail when he gets into a fight to protect his wife (Ana de Armas). In order to get a second chance at an early release, Koslow becomes an informant for crooked FBI agents (Rosamund Pike and Clive Owen), using his covert skills in an operation to take down The General (Eugene Lipinski), the head of the Polish Mafia in New York. But when an op to take down The General goes sideways, both sides insist that Koslow takes the fall by going back to the one place he’s spent his whole life escaping, Bale Hill Prison. There his mission becomes a race against time to stay alive long enough to escape prison and save his family. 
     Directed by Andrea Di Stefano (Escobar: Paradise Lost), written by Rowan Joffe (Tin Star) and Matt Cook (Angel Has Fallen), and based off of the Swedish crime novel Three Seconds by Roslund/Hellström, The Informer (2019) is a tense, grim, and gritty crime thriller that features an international cast and attempts to cover a number of storylines, and despite its American setting, it is classified as a British production. The story follows the standard setup for a crime thriller and is a combination of a one-last job story and a forced obligation story for this film. Although the film tries to tell a broad story, it struggles to cast a wide net because it doesn’t try to bring something new to the genre. It’s more of the same old same old type of film that does exactly go beyond being entertaining. That being said the film doesn’t try to be something it’s not and only seeks to be entertaining and well constructed. The one thing that this film excels at is tension and violence. There is a lot of it throughout the film and the majority of it takes place in overcrowded situations and sets. There were also little details involving the characters that show that there is nothing glamorous or worthwhile about this world.
     The cast performances were exactly what you would expect from a film like this. There was nothing remarkable about the performances but they did manage to succeed in portraying the characters solidly. Joel Kinnaman (Hanna Amazon series) is good at playing characters like Pete Koslow, the rough and tough type of guy with covert skills who is always having some sort of inner character battle. He also handles himself very well in the action sequences. Rosamund Pike (Watership Down, The Wheel of Time) is fitting as Officer Wilcox but she also had two different personas that almost felt to be too believable. Clive Owen (Anon, Gemini Man), while normally a strong actor, as good as her boss Officer Montgomery but in a film already filled with a lot of aggressive characters, his felt to be a bit too much. Perhaps if some of the background characters were removed then perhaps his performance would have been better received. Common (The Kitchen) was good as NYPD Detective Grens but his subplot was underused and left to be unfinished. There was a moment when Grens and Pete could have formed a strong alliance to take down those that had betrayed Pete but instead, the writers dropped the ball and left things unfinished. Ana de Armas (No Time To Die) did good as Pete’s wife Sofia Hoffman but like Common, she was underused and also had a moment when she could have pulled a fast one on the bad guys and yet didn’t. Needless to say, the performances were good but the writing left things to be desired.
     Overall, The Informer (2020) is an entertaining and violent crime-thriller that gives a solid offering to the genre. However, there were certain writing decisions that left the film with a number of plot-holes and underused characters. Perhaps if the film chose to focus on just one story and build off of that rather than trying to create a broad crime-thriller then the film would have been met with more success. Regardless, this is still an entertaining film and if you enjoy watching violent crime-thrillers then I highly recommend that you check this one out.

Final Vote --- 6.8 of 10 stars

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