Bad reviews don’t typically deter me from wanting to see a film, but when I see negative chatter about a project to this extent it is hard to muster up any excitement as Gregor Jordan’s adaptation of Brett Easton Ellis’s The Informers is not receiving very kind reactions out of Sundance. Let’s run down some of what people are saying.
In a post headlined “Vomit Bag” Jeff Wells says:
I just came out of it; everyone I’ve spoken to about it (i.e, those who saw it with me at the Yarrow) looks pained and deflated — like they’ve got the flu.
I know that I will never ever watch another sleazy, poison-virus flick about a bunch of empty, drugged-up Hollywood zombies smoking too much, drinking too much, doing too much blow and boring the living shit out of the audience. That’s it — I’m done. The script, co-authored by Ellis and Nicholas Jarecki, is occasionally functional but more often flat and tedious; sometimes it’s repulsively stupid. It may be the worst Sundance movie I’ve ever seen — it’s certainly one of the biggest stinkers ever to show here.
Peter Sciretta at SlashFilm doesn’t even waste time in a 15 word review:
Spoiled Rich kids. Drugs. Sex. Amber Heard naked. Aids. Infidelity. Kidnapping. Unconnected. Boring. Uninteresting. Horrible.
Kyle Buchanan at Defamer says:
Intermittently, director Gregor Jordan captures that trademark Ellis vibe: dreamy surreality punctuated by bursts of tragedy that the numbed, drugged-out characters hardly know how to process. After a startling early car accident, though, the film shifts into low gear—and the removal of the book’s vampire storyline means it has even less bite. “What was the point?” everyone asked in the lobby afterwards. Ellis’s short stories coalesced into a meditation on mortality and meaning, but there’s no theme or drive in the adaptation.
And finally, over at Cinematical Scott Weinberg adds:
Little more than a jumbled mass of unrelated subplots, The Informers is about a bunch of rich, spoiled, disaffected, hedonistic, obnoxious, ungrateful and gorgeous young people who simply do whatever they want and abuse / dismiss / mock anyone who gives them a second glance. Why anyone would want to spend 94 minutes with a crew this venal and hateful is anyone’s guess, but combine their collective unpleasantness with a screenplay that “adapts” little and goes nowhere fast, and you’re looking at a movie that’s an absolute chore to sit through…
Boasting vacant performances from a bunch of pretty young faces (and several blank-eyed performances from veterans who should know better, such as Kim Basinger and Billy Bob Thornton) and completely bereft of any sort of POINT, The Informers is an ugly, blank slate of a film, one that feels like a rough outline for one of the better Ellis adaptations. But I suppose that’s what happens when you take a bunch of short stories and just wedge them haphazardly into one exploitative mess.
I know a lot of folks got excited about the Unrated Trailer but it looks like this is a hollow vessel and these are only the first four reviews. Senator Entertainment is set to release the film on April 10 in NY and LA, but if reviews like this continue I wonder how wide that release will end up.
The Informers stars an insane list of names including Brad Renfro’s final screen appearance as well as the likes of Billy Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger, Winona Ryder, Mickey Rourke, Brandon Routh, Ashley Olsen, Jon Foster, Lou Taylor Pucci, Austin Nichols, Amber Heard and Chris Isaak.