If you're looking for a good time, you probably don't want to take in a film based on a Bret Easton Ellis novel.
"The Informers" certainly doesn't disprove that statement, a dreary and depressing picture that, while it captures well the party scene of the 1980s, it doesn't exactly make you nostalgic for the times of Don Johnson-inspired fashion and the Flock of Seagulls.
There are name actors in this movie, most notably Billy Bob Thornton, Kim Basinger, Winona Ryder, Mickey Rourke (as well as the late Brad Renfro), but the movie belongs to the younger generation, a group of faceless lookalikes who spend their days screwing, snorting and sleeping, then waking up to start all over, hating themselves and everyone around them all the while.
There's plenty of homoerotic machismo (with frosted tips) going around, with sex partners shifting seemingly at random, while the guys sit around acting tough, hanging out with their pals but secretly hating them. All the while, the news is reporting this mysterious new illness plaguing the gay community.
One of the group departs for a Hawaii vacation with his estranged, slightly pervy father (Chris Isaak), who seems hopeful in being his mostly disinterested, highly disillusioned son's wingman.
The adults fare no better. Thornton and Basinger play a movie producer and his ex-wife, respectively, who are considering getting back together. That doesn't stop Thornton from crawling back to his girlfriend, a TV news anchor with issues of her own (Ryder).
Most everyone is getting laid or trying to, but either way they don't seem to be getting much out of it, and the sex scenes are all forceful, me-first affairs.
Rourke's involvement is puzzling, playing the burned-out uncle of a doorman (Renfro), who bullies his way into his nephew's house with a his teenage girl companion and a young boy he's kidnapped to seel to some scary Aryan-looking fellows who probably don't have good intention for the kid.
It's all mashed together, reeking of the kind of scattered narrative that loses all cohesion about halfway through. It plays out like a slicked-up convergence of random narrative threads, with characters we can't bring outselves to care about who do a series of stupid things, then offer a worse reaction to that failure.
It falls into the trap of several recent Ellis adaptations ("The Rules of Attraction" chief among them): Ellis loathes his characters too much to bring himself to give them any likability whatsoever, and in a film it makes for an uncomfortable, joyless experience.
Rating: 2 Yaps out of 5