Bret Easton Ellis adapted his own novel with the help of Nicholas Jarecki -- a piece of crap whose only film credit stems from following the guy who directed the Tyson documentary around going, "Whaddaya think, whaddaya think, whaddaya think, huh?" Which goes to show that just because you have money doesn't mean you have class or taste. I never bothered with early Ellis because frankly, who cares about rich bisexuals snorting coke and being retarded? Although Perez Hilton has eight billion hits a day and a book deal, so I guess everybody. However, I admire Ellis if only for Lunar Park, which was nothing short of fucking brilliant. In the wake of everybody getting their Oprah's in Oh-No over James Frey's scandalous chicanery, the dude writes a faux autobiographical novel as if he were one of his own characters, complete with champagne celebrities and Bolivian marching powder brigades. Oh, yeah, and he might be getting stalked by a guy who either thinks he's Patrick Bateman from American Psycho or the character from the novel brought to life and bent on murdering him with an ax. Ellis has a savage dark comic wit, and when you're paying attention, most of his work is sneering and sinisterly making fun of you. There are moments where it seems like this might be the case with The Informers, but then it gets drowned out by voluptuous, drawn out pauses and the keening soundtrack which sounds like your neighbor turned up a Joy Division CD.
As soon as I saw the film was directed by Gregor Jordan, I should have been wary. This is the man who took the cast of Ned Kelly and fucking wiped his ass with them. It should come as no surprise he'd do the same with this group of mostly nobodies. When your headliners are Billy Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger, Winona Ryder, and Mickey Rourke, you might be stoked -- if it were 1984. And you were high. The movie doesn't really need to be set in the 1980s except to give everyone Flock of Seagulls bouffants and allow one character to die of AIDS. Because I guess we cured it 25 years later. Go Team Venture!
I'm going to make a valiant effort to unravel the plot to explain what happened, but really you shouldn't care. Nobody in the movie cares. Nobody who made the movie cares. Half the audience of eight got up and left during the first twenty minutes, and I envy them those precious hours of their lives that were much better spent. Let's see: William (Billy Bob Thornton) is a film producer, who was once married to Laura (Kim Basinger), who mostly spends her days laying in bed and trying to out haggard her co-stars (you filthy disrespectful pigs). William wants to move back in, though he still has feelings -- you can't really call it love, since that's an emotion, and nobody in the film was permitted to bring those on set, lest it set off Rourke -- for local news anchor Cheryl (Winona Ryder). William and Laura have two children, Susan (Cameron Goodman) -- who fulfills the films 80's slang quota by saying "totally" and "groty" and Graham (Jon Foster, Ben's little bro) a drug dealer and I suppose the anchor on this Prince-Ass cruise. Graham has stupid hair and spends most of his time doing drugs and sighing. Graham's girlfriend Christie (Amber Heard) is naked for pretty much the whole movie, spending her time fucking everyone, including most of Graham's circle of jerks, especially winner of the haircut most likely to make the entire Bravo network get the vapors Martin (Austin Nichols), who is also putting the kiebalsa to the Basinger.
There's more unnecessary tangential threads that go absolutely nowhere and are supposed to be considered deep by virtue of the fact they are happening! Another of Graham's pals is Tim Price (Lou Taylor Pucci) who begrudgingly goes to Hawaii -- aw, shucks, do I have to, pop? -- with his spectacularly shitty father Les (Chris Isaak, one of the few bright spots of the film). Tim sulks and mousses his hair while Les drinks Mai Tais and ponders countrily his sons sexuality. Meanwhile back at the ranch, we've got Bryan Metro (Mel Raido), a rocknrolla of 80s' excess who gets the Burger King Crown of Feces for Felchiest Fucktard in Film. Bryan's band The Informers, which includes Rhys Ifans, blats out tunes while Bryan fucks teenage girls, breaks down in a vodka and ice bath, and punches Miss Nebraska (which isn't nearly as funny as it should be, dammit.) Is anyone still reading this? Have you fallen asleep yet? Cause I'm about there.
Then we get to the most random inclusion and the only mildly interesting part of the film, because it has fuckall with worrying about how rich people whine. Jackson (Brad Renfro) is a doorman at the building where Graham, Martin, and Christie do most of their fucking. He comes home to find his uncle Peter (Mickey Rourke) holed up with a drugged-damned-near-dead gal and his sketchy van. Peter kidnaps a child to sell to Barstow cults. Jack loses his shit. In what would sadly turn out to be his last role, Renfro manages to be the only human in this cesspool. He's a fat wreck, twitching and squirming his way through the sordid world he doesn't understand, desperate for love or goodness anywhere in this fetid dreck. Renfro had a promising acting ability, despite his own personal demons, and it's a shame his star had to burn out with this.
If you're really interested in Amber Heard's tits, wait for another movie because girlfriend takes her top off for a cheese sandwich anymore. If you're really into watching rich people whine, do a MTV2 marathon and watch "Cribs," "My Sweet Sixteen," "The Osbournes," and "Viva La Bam." Don't allow this piece of flotsam any more screen time. You should only watch this after a night of heavy drinking, and I mean the kind where you cough up cigarette butts you accidentally drank. Only then do you deserve the punishment of being subjected to this putrid stinking mess.
Brian Prisco lives in a pina down by the mer-port of Burbank, by way of the cheesesteak-laden arteries of Philadelphia. Any and all grumblings can be directed to priscogospel at hotmail dot com.