Tuesday, March 09, 2010
A rising star in the agricultural industry suddenly turns whistleblower in hopes of gaining a lucrative promotion and becoming a hero of the common people, inadvertently revealing his penchant for helping himself to the corporate coffers and ultimately threatening to derail the very investigation he helped to launch in this offbeat comedy from Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh. Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon) was fast rising through the ranks at agri-industry powerhouse Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) when he became savvy to the company's multinational price-fixing conspiracy, and decided to turn evidence for the FBI. Convinced that he'll be hailed as a hero of the people for his efforts, Whitacre agrees to wear a wire in order to gather the evidence needed to convict the greedy money-grabbers at ADM. Unfortunately, both the case -- and Whitacre's integrity -- are compromised when FBI agents become frustrated by their informant's ever-shifting account, and discover that he isn't exactly the saintly figure he made himself out to be. Unable to discern reality from Whitacre's fantasy as they struggle to build their case against ADM, the FBI watches in horror as the highest-ranking corporate bust in U.S. history threatens to implode before their very eyes. ~ Jason Buchanan, All Movie Guide
Director: Steven Soderbergh
Cast: Matt Damon, Scott Bakula, Joel McHale, Melanie Lynskey, Rick Overton.
Release Date: Sep 18, 2009
Rated R for language
Runtime: 1 hr. 48 min.
Genres: Comedy, Crime Drama, Thriller
Steven Soderbergh’s The Informant! is the type of film that keeps you off balance but he does it in such a subtle way that you don’t know it till the end. Soderbergh’s film has a light and engaging feel that keeps you interested even with what seems like a fairly straight forward plot. Interesting visual and musical choices give this film a 70’s feel even though the entire thing takes place in the 90’s. His direction is organic and never forced something he’s perfected over the years. A hefty Matt Damon is equally impressive in the lead role as Mark Whitacre, giving the audience a real sense of the character’s state of mind and seemingly endless circular logic. Damon gives his a character an undeniable likability even as we find out more about him. Needless to say, he’s in top form here and he supported by a strong and if unexpected cast. Outside of Scott Bakula, the majority of the supporting players are made up of stand up comics in non comedic roles. It makes for an interesting effect and maintains the off balance sensibility of the overall film. Soderbergh’s approach may not be for every one especially people who are expecting a certain type of film going in but it’s hard to deny how clever and witty the overall construction of it is. It’s the type of film that requires repeated viewings to appreciate fully.