The Informer Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

Former commando, a Pole by origin, Yuel Kinnaman after returning from service received twenty years in prison – for manslaughter. However, the FBI is very interested in the possibility of obtaining compromising information on the local Polish authority Klimek (Eugene Lipinski), nicknamed the General, and then the special services pull Kozlov out of prison four years after the start of his term, setting Peter’s introduction into the Polish gang as a condition of release.

Kozlov successfully infiltrated the gang as a drug courier and provided the FBI with information about an upcoming large drug shipment: six kilograms of fentanyl, which should arrive in the country through a Polish diplomat.

Peter, along with Klimek’s nephew Stazek (Mateusz Kościukiewicz), must meet the diplomat and deliver the goods to Klimek, who is to be arrested by the FBI immediately afterwards. However, Stacek is a big nerd guy, and he’s taking merchandise to some left-handed customer in an area called Little Poland, where Peter discovers that the customer is an undercover cop. Kozlov tries to let the policeman leave, but the bad Stazek shoots the policeman.

In general, now everything is gone: the FBI operation is thwarted, Klimek was not taken, and then Klimek decides to pin the murder of a policeman on Peter (not on his own nephew, right) and declares that Kozlov will go to prison, moreover, this is for their organization and for the better: Peter will organize the supply of drugs from the inside.

The FBI, of course, is not going to pull Kozlov out: since the operation has been thwarted, it also plays into their hands that Peter will go to prison again: he will then give the police information about Klimek’s drug trafficking and then they will finally pin him down.

So Kozlov is advised that his curator Wilcox (Rosamund Pike), that his supervisor Montgomery (Clive Owen) is not to rock the boat, but to do what they tell him. After all, he also has a family: his wife Sophia (Ana de Armas) and a little daughter.


What does three seconds have to do with it (the original title of the picture is translated as “Informant”), it is only briefly mentioned in the picture: this is the time it takes for a bullet fired from a sniper rifle to reach the target. And the main character in these three seconds, like how you need to have time to make an important decision.

Also, “Three Seconds” is the name of the story by the Swedish authors Roslund Anders and Hellström Börge, which formed the basis of the script for this film, directed by the director of Italian origin Andrea Di Stefano: he is generally an actor (twenty-five films and TV series) and a screenwriter (four films), and as a director before that, he only directed the crime thriller “Paradise Lost” with Benicio Del Toro, which failed miserably at the box office ($ 5.5 million with a budget of $ 17 million).

“Three Seconds” begins rather dull, unoriginal and stupid. Again introduced undercover, again the supply of drugs, again “everything went wrong” under the influence of a specific moron, who, of course, is the blood of a terrible authority, again “you need to go to jail again”, and, of course, “FBI will certainly throw you, son.”

Of at least some variety, the Polish mafia is here, and not specifically the United Statesn or Albanian mafia, and note that in this film, the Poles, raising a toast with a glass of Księżycówka or Żołądkowa Gorzka, still do not shout “To your health”, for which thank you very much already. (By the way, the Poles here speak Polish among themselves, but Klimek himself speaks United Statesn for some reason – apparently, purely out of respect.)

Also here, the main Pole is noticeably more authentic, because he was played not by an Indian of United Statesn-Jewish origin, like Ben Kingsley, but by a pure Swede (mother is Jewish from Sweden, father is an American of English, Irish, Scottish and German origin) Joel Kinnaman, which can be regarded as a nod to Roslund Anders and Hellström Börge.

The first half of the picture is clearly very long, and it could easily be cut for about twenty minutes to add dynamics to the film.

But from the moment Kozlov goes to prison, the action becomes noticeably more dynamic, and here we are already seeing a picture in the style of “survival of a strong guy in a prison that broke even not so strong guys”, somewhat reminiscent of “Shot into the Void” with Nikolai Coster-Waldau, although I note that “Shot into the Void” is more solid and more powerful.

As a result, the second half of the film is noticeably more watchable, although there are enough certain exaggerations and logical holes. In addition, there is still a parallel line of a New York police detective who is investigating the murder of his partner – the same undercover cop that Stazek killed. And it seems that this police detective, who managed to get to the bottom of a lot of things, does not give a damn about the FBI itself – that’s what they have there, it turns out, problems with subordination.

Joel Kinnaman plays his role quite well, but he is very constrained by the framework of a very mediocre script, so he looks, well, maybe decently. That’s when he is allowed to turn around, as, for example, in “Altered Carbon” or in “House of Cards”, he looks much more spectacular.

Rosamund Pike as an FBI employee was not very liked. It is clear that according to the plot she should “run between the trickles”, which her character does, but somehow this role is not hers, as it seems to me. She usually looks good in family tragicomedies like “Dream Vacation”, and in the role of an employee of the special services, in my opinion, she clearly does not pull, as well as with all sorts of jackreachers, who, in turn, Tom Cruise himself also does not pull at all.

Clive Owen played the extremely clichéd character “that’s such a bastard I am in a decent suit”, but this, of course, was due to the script, the actor himself did his best.

The New York cop was played by rapper Common, who, by the way, is quite a decent actor, unlike many other rappers who have turned to films – at least for the roles that he usually plays: policemen or, conversely, criminals. And here his character, in my opinion, was the most lively and realistic.

What is the result? Quite a passing and clearly drawn-out crime thriller that starts out boring and stupid, but then still taxis into a more or less dynamic action movie. I, having looked at the rating and the actors, and also given the presence of a fairly popular Scandinavian story as the basis of the script, I hoped that the level would be higher. But Andrea Di Stefano gave out only what he could give out, and his possibilities, as we see, are clearly limited.

But with a beer ride, of course. And “To your health” the audience can shout themselves, raising a toast with a mug, jar or bottle.

Three seconds / The Informer movie review

Director: Andrea Di Stefano Cast: Joel Kinnaman, Rosamund Pike, Clive Owen, Common, Ana de Armas, Joanna Kaczynska, Edwin De La Renta, Sam Spruell, Aylam Orian, Karma Meyer, Eugene Lipinski, Mateusz Kosciukiewicz

Crime thriller, UK-USA-Canada, 2019, 113 min.

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