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It’s the likely lags in The Informer

29 August, 2019 — By Dan Carrier

THE INFORMER
Directed by Andrea Di Stefano
Certificate 15
☆☆☆

A STAGE full of panto­mime goodies and baddies are given a series of plot device hurdles to navigate in this competent, if clichéd, cops and robbers thriller.

The Informer is a study of the hero in contemporary American male fantasies: he is a tragic figure, a tough guy who just loves his wife and kid but has a ton of bad stuff to deal with first.

Pete Koslow (the taut-of-torso, tattooed figure of Joel Kinnaman) is a US Army veteran who did tours of Iraq. So far, so Rambo.

He is given a stretch inside after protecting his wife’s honour in a bar room brawl against a motorcycle gang – and then is given the chance to get an early release if he joins the FBI and helps get to the Polish New York crime king-pin, the fabulously, unwittingly camp General (Eugene Lipinski).

Between fight scenes and some shouted conversations based on violent threats, the plot gets murkier as undercover Koslow witnesses the death of an NYPD cop, who is also looking to infiltrate the crime syndicate – meaning the FBI, the NYPD and various drug dealers are all pitted against each other. Koslow is caught in the crossfire.

There is nothing subtle going on, but The Informer is so blatantly not trying to be a thoughtful nouveau-Netflix-style crime drama it makes for an easy watch.

Director Andrea Di Stefano isn’t afraid to use a bit of bish, bash, bosh as a plot device. An element of respectability give to it by the roles for Rosamund Pike as the key FBI agent and her horrible boss (Clive Owen).

Silly stuff but not without interest, even if just for the marvellous turn from Canadian actor Lipinski. If you ever find yourself in charge of a lucrative racket, pray you swan about like he does.

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