When we found who Ben Affleck was dating back in (what feels like) 1942, I looked up Ana de Armas to see what else we knew her from besides Knives Out and Blade Runner 2049. Aside from learning that Affleck plays a cuck in the movie the two met on, Deep Water (based on a Patricia Highsmith novel that kind of bored me), I also noticed that she was in an upcoming movie called The Informer. In fact, I have run across The Informer a number of times on IMDb, because the cast includes quite a few actors I like, including Rosamund Pike, Joel Kinnamon, Clive Owen, and Common.
Sounds like a killer cast, right?
The film was shot and acquired in 2017 and set for an August 2018 release date. It’s been pushed back several times since then, bouncing around to various dates over the course of three years. In fact, right now, the release date appears to still be listed as July 31st, 2020, which is four months hence. However, the movie is also available for rent on iTunes, where — in my weekly rundown of the most popular movies watched at home — I have noticed it bumming around among the most rented films (it is currently the 13th most popular rental).
The Informer is the reason why we do not watch movies based solely on their casts, because if casts was all that mattered, Mars Attacks! would have been the best movie of 1996. It was not. Here’s what de Armas looks like in The Informer, so you know what we’re working with here:
That hairstyle is everything you need to know about The Informer.
Even in the best of times, and even if its original distributor had not gone through financial problems, The Informer was never going to be better than a straight-to-VOD offering. Based on the novel Three Seconds by Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström, The Informer centers on Joel Kinnamon’s Pete Koslow, convicted of manslaughter several years ago after killing a man in defense of his wife, Sofia (de Armas). Koslow is turned into an FBI informant in order to gain early release.
Koslow works his way up an opioid distribution chain, but before he can bring down the guy at the top, an undercover police officer is killed. For reasons that don’t make a lot of sense, Koslow has to violate his parole (by pretending to abuse his wife) so he can be sent back to prison, which is where he is meant to go after the drug lord.
The drug lord here, however, is a MacGuffin. The real bad guy is Montgomery (Clive Owen), someone higher up in the FBI who decides to burn Koslow as an informant when an NYPD detective, Grens (Common) — who is investigating the death of the undercover officer — figures out that Koslow is an informant. I have no idea, nor is it clear in The Informer why it is necessary to burn an informant because a detective found out about it. In either respect, it is essentially left to Koslow’s FBI handler (Rosamund Pike) and Grens to risk their own careers to save Koslow from being killed inside the prison, either by a gang or guards being paid by the FBI.
Once the action moves inside the prison, however, things go from messy to borderline incoherent. The storyline moves along based on inertia instead of logic, while director Andrea Di Stefano assembles a few low-rent sequences straight out of a bad detective show on CBS, only they lack the sleek good looks of Mark Harmon or Chris O’Donnell.
The Informer is not a good movie, but it does manage to waste an enormous amount of talent and that’s impressive! To be able to get absolutely nothing out of Rosamund Pike alone is a helluva feat, but the movie also gets barely more than a series of grunts out of Kinnamon and frazzled roots and a perpetual damsel-in-distress look is the best they can get of de Armas. Only Clive Owen approaches something close to interesting, but that’s just because of the massive belch he delivers after chewing all that scenery. A massive belch is basically all that The Informant amounts to.
Header Image Source: Warner Brothers