Thursday 13 July 2023

REVIEW: Confidential Informant (2023) - Starring Mel Gibson, Kate Bosworth, Nick Stahl and Dominic Purcell

In this gripping crime thriller featuring Mel Gibson, the story revolves around two narcotics agents on a mission to apprehend a cop killer amid a crack epidemic. In their pursuit of leads, Moran (played by Dominic Purcell) and Thorton (portrayed by Nick Stahl) resort to bribing a junkie informant. To secure a future for his wife (Kate Bosworth) and son, Moran involves the informant in a dangerous plot.

One day, while playing catch with his son, Moran suddenly collapses in agony. His wife, Anna, urges him to seek medical attention. However, Moran has already consulted three doctors, all of whom have diagnosed him with stomach cancer and given him a limited time to live. Coincidentally, Frank (played by John Cassini), another police officer, mentions at a bar how much financial support the department provides to the family of an officer who dies in the line of duty.

Motivated by this information, Moran and Thorton decide to rob a drug dealer and devise a plan that involves manipulating their informant, Carlos (played by Erik Valdez), to make Moran's death appear to be in the line of duty. This way, Moran's family would be eligible for the benefits they learned about earlier. However, their plan takes a dark turn, and Officer Learner (portrayed by Russell Richardson) from Internal Affairs starts probing them with incisive questions.

This is your old fashioned, low budget, gritty crime drama, and in many ways, it could easily have been made in the 1990s, and it has that feel throughout. Although Gibson gets main billing, his role is limited, the main star of the film is Nick Stahl who carries many of the scenes.

In many ways as an audience, we are spoiled by big budget, Hollywood releases, and as such we find ourselves always expecting more, and never quite accepting the limitations that some films have, whether it is budget or star power.

Confidential Informant has a strong cast, and although dialog heavy, the moments of action are well done throughout. Think of this as more of film noir than action thriller.

Nick Stahl puts in a strong performance as Thorton, and I always like Dominic Purcell. The film is about 85 minutes long which is probably the right length for a film like this.

The Good
A good performance by Nick Stahl carries the film, and it seems strange seeing Mel Gibson without his beard these days, although limited he puts in a good performance too.

There is an interesting story here, and moral grey lines that are looked at from a different perspective than what you would usually get.

The Bad
The film is constrained by a lot of factors, the budget being the main one.

Confidential Informant won't go down in history as a cult classic, but it is a decent film, perhaps more for fans of the actors involved than just a fan of the genre.

I thought Confidential Informant was ok if not great, it kept me interested and the short run time was appreciated.

I score Confidential Informant a generous 7/10

Out now on digital -