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The Informers

a film by Gregor Jordan

Bret Easton Ellis is at it again. Sex, drugs and rock & roll and all set in the numbing vortex that is 1980's excess. With Less Than Zero, the 1987 adaptation of his 1985 debut novel, the typically eighties drug-induced stab at privilege and morality seemed right on the mark - cutting edge even. Now, 20+ years later, Easton Ellis' tawdry obsessive languor for the decade of coke-fueled gluttony seems merely passive-aggressive at best - sadly pathetic at worst. And worst is certainly what this film succeeds at.

The Informers was first published in 1994 (just four years after Easton Ellis' vaunted decade abruptly, perhaps thankfully, ended) and perhaps did not feel so stilted at that still fresh time. Now though, it appears as nothing more than a preening Valium-addicted half-forgotten one-night stand from some all-forgotten eighties pastel party full of designer drugs and Depeche Mode doing its inevitable walk of shame up there on the screen for everyone to be party to. And on top of all that - it is a tedious bore throughout.

Now by no means do I mean to come off as a prude. Though I no longer partake of one of the trio, I have a long, loving relationship with the idea of sex, drugs and rock & roll, and I can fully appreciate this eponymous threesome as the basis for a motion picture. But I think that kind of motion picture needs to have the requisite passion so associated with the aforementioned menage a trois. Less Than Zero, though pandering toward the pedestrian itself at times, had that passion. The Informers most certainly does not. Perhaps the filmmakers were going for some sort of passive-aggressive David Lynch thing and therefore became mired in an aloof misstep easily taken when one is not David Lynch. Lynch's own brilliantly bleak picket fence tragedy-cum-comedy Blue Velvet does much more to define a decade than The Informers could ever dream of doing.

An attempt at reliving the decade of debauchery, replete with its own stable of eighties rejects in Winona Ryder, Kim Basinger and the recently reassembled Mickey Rourke (this film was made before The Wrestler by the way) does nothing but make a tedious mockery of the self-absorbed decade it portends to idolize. Ah, for the lazy days of Blue Velvet. [04/27/09]

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