Less than heroes

Bret Easton Ellis' adaptation his own book suffers from 20/20 hindsight

comment
The Informers
Studio: Senator Films
Rated: R
Cast: Billy Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger, Jon Foster, Austin Nichols, Lou Taylor Pucci
Director: Gregor Jordan
WorkNameSort: Informers, The
Our Rating: 3.00

The opening minutes of director Gregor Jordan's The Informers idle along as the film painstakingly recreates a glamorous 1983 Los Angeles, where college-age children of wealth play at a posh party inside somebody's opulent home. Graham (Jon Foster) kisses his girlfriend, Christie (Amber Heard), while their friend Bruce watches from across the pool; soon, their small group decides to leave. They're standing out front looking beautiful, rich and bored when a car comes barreling across the circular driveway, killing Bruce.

Such is the temperament of Informers, where no deed goes unpunished by some random act of violence. As adapted by screenwriter Nicholas Jarecki and Bret Easton Ellis, the 1994 source novel by Ellis (American Psycho) himself ' a very loosely interconnected collection of stories set in early 1980s Los Angeles ' is compressed to a single year, with most of its preposterous situations filed down into feeble plausibility. The result turns the novel's cynical satire into a facile morality play, in which these privileged children want to be told the difference between right and wrong.

They're certainly not finding that at home. Graham's studio exec father (Billy Bob Thornton) is trying to get back together with his estranged wife, Laura (Kim Basinger), after leaving her for a local newscaster (Winona Ryder). Laura seeks solace in comfortably numbing medications and also in her son's friend Martin (Austin Nichols), who doesn't mind trading sexual favors for economic gain. Martin, an aspiring music video director, hops from Laura's bed to Christie and Graham's. Meanwhile, aging rock star Bryan Metro (Mel Raido) floats through his violent sex life on waves of drugs and booze.

Jordan's movie certainly aims for amoral Reagan-era decadence, but too often it bogs itself down in convenient hindsight ' as when a TV news brief about AIDS browbeats the point about a promiscuous character ' and pat, easy judgments.

Tags

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at feedback@orlandoweekly.com.

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Orlando Weekly Press Club for as little as $5 a month.