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  • Nate Adams

Review: 'The Informer' executes decent thrills in mindless action flick

Courtesy of Vertical Entertainment


“Three Seconds,” a popular Swedish crime novel by Anders Roslund and Börge Hellström has gotten the big screen treatment in Andrea Di Stefano’s “The Informer,” a serviceable thriller about an undercover informant cast aside by his handlers and is forced to sniff out drug operations inside prison walls. Adapted by Rowan Joffe, “The Informer” executes solid thrills despite an ending that hints at future installments. Call me crazy, but I didn’t look at this film and expect a possible franchise.

Joel Kinnaman is Pete Koslow, an ex-con working for a Polish drug gang who is syphoning information to his FBI cohorts (Rosamund Pike and Clive Owen). When a big drug bust goes south and an NYPD officer is murdered by one of Pete’s trigger-happy companions, it sets the department off in a frenzy to quickly cover it up. As repayment for his negligence, Pete is forced by his boss – a local crime lord on the FBI’s most wanted list – to break parole and return to prison in order to supervise a distribution ring. Talk about a worst-case scenario.

What ensues is several different movies competing for airtime: there’s the narrative with Peter facing inmates who run their own narcotics operations; Common playing disgruntled NYPD detective Grens who is on the prowl for justice and sees Peter as the canary in the coal mine; and the FBI working overtime to rid their involvement with Koslow. Each has their own twists but never reach the apex suggested by their engaging starts.

With roles in third rate actioners “RoboCop,” “Run all Night,” and “Suicide Squad,” Kinnaman is given his most human role to date, and the tattooed covered badass he’s playing in “The Informer” is built on raw intensity. Whatever the film lacks in style and presentation – it has the flair of a straight to VOD clunker – there’s no denying it's made by a filmmaking team who appreciate a good bare knuckle brawl and perhaps watched “John Wick” one too many times. Throw it on and forget your troubles. 

Grade: B-

THE INFORMER will be debut on premium VOD November 6th


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