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Movie Review: The Informant

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Prinz Lee wrote this review 5 years ago

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Written Sept. 18, 2009

This is the third Soderbergh film I’ve seen this year. He’s just putting them out there as if to say “see, making a film is not a big deal.” Amazing! Oh well, let me get going.

“The Informant” is not a film for everyone. It’s a pretty grainy-like comedy of which entails twists and turns and pretty much relies on lots of dialog in order for it to play off well. Therefore, this is one film (unlike others who are pretty simple) that seriously requires lots of attention in order to follow connections and pretty much map everything out towards the end. So with that said, for the slow-at-mind, I seriously recommend you just STAY AWAY from this piece, otherwise you’ll wind up walking out with a migraine or worse… contemplating movie-going suicide.

Matt Damon plays executive “Mark Whitacre” who works at agri-industry giant Archer Daniels Midland. Not happy after discovering they're price fixing their product, he becomes a whistleblower for the FBI, determined to stop the illegal activity of his own company, yet still thinking he can keep his job afterwards because he's doing good. He thinks along the lines of a kid who narcs on his friend because he thinks it's the "right" thing to do, then expects to still get invited to the birthday party. Kids are idiots.

This marks the 150th time director Steven Soderbergh and Matt Damon have teamed up. Based off the book by Kurt Eichenwald, The Informant is a layered tale of corporate deception, greed and how things aren't as black and white as they seem. But don't worry, this is more of a comedy than it is a drama thanks to the often hilarious series of random thoughts used as voiceovers throughout the movie, setting the tone for the type of movie we're about to see. It's pretty much the ramblings of both a genius and a madman. Kind of like me except for the genius part.

Assisted by FBI agents Brian Shepard (Scott Bakula) and Bob Herndon (Joel McHale), Mark walks around work all day wearing a wire to catch his co-workers talk about price fixing in meetings with their overseas competitors. Things seem to be going perfect for the FBI's case except Mark starts showing erratic and random behavior, giving them conflicting information that could jeopardize everything.

I'm a big fan of Soderbergh's work (except for ‘Girlfriend Experience’) and he seems to excel when he has Clooney or Damon in his films. For some reason, these guys seem to just work well together and the work shows on screen. While Matt Damon has never ripped out someone's throat on screen he still plays enjoyable characters. I mean, it would have been cool if they had managed to fit in a throat ripping scene, but I understand why that might not have worked.

The only problem with The Informant is it's 15 minutes too long. They need to trim up the 1st act a bit because the movie can wear on you after 90 minutes with too much unnecessary dialogue. So by the time the 3rd act rolls around, you're getting a little worn out. Still, I found myself enjoying The Informant quite a bit. Especially during scenes where Mark is blatantly looking at the hidden cameras the FBI has set up or when he fixes a hidden microphone in his briefcase right in front of everyone during a meeting.

The Informant is a well executed comedy but once again state it's not for everyone. I don't think general audiences will check it out which is a shame. Still, if you and your girl decide to not watch that over-hyped "actress" Megan Fox this weekend, then let your date blow your whistle while you enjoy Matt Damon in The Informant.



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