Top positive review
Kinnaman makes good on his early action genre promises: "Strap in folks, I'm just getting started."
Reviewed in the United States on December 3, 2020
First, a little history about the lead actor's career before this action-thriller entry, because THE INFORMER is an entertaining vehicle whose primary purpose is moving this actor further toward becoming a household name:
Before his role as Takeshi Kovacs in the Cyberpunk series Altered Carbon on Netflix Originals . . . Before playing the hardened survivalist-father in the Prime Original series Hanna . . . And before Kinnaman's turn as the love-tortured military commander involved in paranormal doings in pop-culture entry SUICIDE SQUAD. . . Kinnaman co-starred in a Canadian detective series called THE KILLING. This was arguably one of the best detective series ever produced. The character arc (personal development) of Kinnaman's character, Stephen Holder, was pure change from beginning to end - highly unusual for a not-yet-well-known actor to play, and highly unusual for any series to script, because it stretches believability if not done very well. It's difficult to pull off, even for a well-known actor. However, as Holder, Kinnaman takes his character from a recovering Junkie screw-up when we meet him to a full-blown protector sidekick and later Hero-Knight figure across 3 seasons. Getting the audience to buy it wholly and easily looked surprisingly effortless - a testament to Kinnaman's acting abilities in a series where he is unable to rely on his amazing physique to punch up the volume in a scene. We are able to buy Holder's character hook, line, and sinker, as does his partner in the series, a female detective who loses custody of her son and later begins to lose her moorings and her grip on reality. In the end, she comes to see Holder as a savior, one she didn't imagine she needed, and ultimately, realizes he's been the one steadfast support, her Rock of Gibraltar, helping her to hold her world together while she solves murders - something she's much better at than relationships.
Kinnaman's loud announcement in THE KILLING, and in every project since, was akin to a "launch warning" for both the action and the drama genres that he'd arrived. Kinnaman's performance in THE INFORMER makes good on that promise. A husband and father with a felony past, his character helps the FBI infiltrate a target's organization and he finds himself placed in one compromising position after another, both by the Feds and by the target they're after. Filmed with a direct-to-TV-movie feel, it nevertheless rises above that level through Kinnaman's performance and that of the supporting cast, which includes several excellent veteran actors. A crime thriller with an attitude and lots of eye candy to please any gender, this is a solid add to Kinnaman's resume and an entertaining action-thriller that ends on the implication of a possible sequel.
While I wouldn't say no to a sequel, I'd be lying if I said I wouldn't prefer to see Netflix strike a deal with Kinnaman to return in an Altered Carbon Season 3 entry, even though Netflix has decided against a Season 3. But an S3 would have had another, 3rd actor, playing the sleeve-swapping Takeshi Kovacs. However, it wouldn't be that difficult to write an S3 that finds Kovacs' mind-and stack-back inside the Kinnaman-character-based body for more Cyberpunk SciFi Envoy fun.
Whatever Kinnaman does next, he's given us fair warning with every project to strap ourselves in for the ride, because he's just getting started.