Thursday, October 08, 2009

The Informant!

This past week was busy as usual, not unlike the last few months. My company has been non-stop busy with all of the product we have out in the field. Between Michael Moore and George Clooney flicks things are finally starting to slow up just enough for me to get another post in. Tamar intimated to me that she wanted to see the Informant! But when push came to shove to actually go to the theater she decided that sewing and knitting was the plan of action for the day. No biggie, I really wanted to see this movie anyway, so I hit the Mega Movies Theatre by myself to catch it. I'm glad I did too it was a fun little movie. Matt Damon, as always, is great as the seemingly hapless/pathological liar Mark Whitacre. It can be frustrating to watch because this guy is all over the place with his tall tales. He's almost a recreation of Damon's Tom Ripley without the homicidal tendencies. Director Soderburgh shows again, that given the right material, he can put together a grade A movie. While Damon has again proved why he's worth every penny the studios throw at him.It starts out simply enough, Bio-Chemist Mark Whitacre works for an Agri-Corporation. He is struggling to discover the cause of a virus in their corn that is hurting profits. Whitacre claims to his bosses that a rival Japanese firm is sabotaging the supply. Instead of dealing with it internally they decide to go to the FBI which causes Whitacre to alter his story to price fixing. Thus begins his downward spiral toward ruin. The film is based on the true story and as the story unfolds, you start to see that the truth is stranger than fiction. Whitacre narrates the film and we get an insight into his thought process. On the surface he appears to be a genuinely affable guy, he tries to pull of this Clark Kent thing, smart yet naive. He also has this quirk, where he thinks he is living in a movie. When he turns undercover informer for the FBI he revels in his new task as corporate spy. He constantly compares his situation to those in James Bond and the movie the Firm. It's pretty amazing what this guy gets away with. It's also insanely hilarious watching him Michael Scott his way through the sting operation. It's almost painful watching his lies come back on him putting him on the spot so he can dig the hole even deeper.
This flick may not be for everybody it works on it's own slow pace and if you can appreciate good writing and an interesting lead then you should have no trouble sitting through this. But if you haven't got much of an attention span or if you can't handle a comedy that doesn't deal in dick and fart jokes than this isn't your movie. Whitacre is a pretty complex guy you think you get him pegged about half way through the film and then he surprises you again. Is he truly a master manipulator or is he just a fool getting lucky, it's hard to say. Other than Damon this flick isn't chock full of A-listers which I think really grounds the movie, honestly. It's good to see Scott Bakula get some work. I've always liked the guy from Quantum Leap and when he guest starred on Chuck and he does a good job again playing an empathetic FBI Agent who gets taken for a ride by Mark Whitacre and his antics. Another fun actor from the 80's Thomas "Biff" Wilson also had a nice little role in the flick unfortunately they didn't give him much to do, the guy can bring the funny and it's unfortunate that they couldn't have given him a funnier role. And I'm still not sure why Joel McHale was in this movie. The guy is hilarious on the Soup and he's pretty funny on his new show Community but they don't let him do his snarky thing here, they sort of Mormoned him up or something. That was a bit of a waste.
Other than the wonky soundtrack that sounded like it belonged in Ocean's 11, this was an enjoyable little movie and I suggest you check it out now before the onslaught of October films flood it out of the marketplace.

Grade 4 Buckets

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