May 21, 2010

The Informant Review

image from Amazon


Premise:
Based on a true story slightly twisted into a dark comedy, Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon) is an eccentric and neurotic mild-mannered businessman for a biochemistry company that deals with lysine, found in corn. Whitacre becomes a whistle-blower to the FBI on the company's illegal price-fixing with their competitors but no multi-million dollar company goes down easy, and you can never quite tell who to take at their word.


Standouts:
The casting choices were really top notch, as I felt genuine contempt for the sleazy bunch they cast as company officials and wanted Matt Damon to point the feds in the right direction. The directing is also very good but I felt the film got bogged down with lame factual events and fell apart in the third act. There was definitely a sense that the writing and directing knew where the film was going for hte first two thirds of the film but when it came time to tie up loose ends there was just some real lacking in the delivery. I had trouble buying it, which maybe was the point? but felt someone should have known the truth about the ending, instead of leaving everyone guessing.


My Highlights:
It's not going to sound all that thriling but there are some really tense and suspenseful scenes. Examples include when Whitacre's briefcase recording device starts buzzing very loudly and he has to fix it during a meeting he's secretly recording, and in another instance where he's video recording a conference only to have an asian businessman sit right in front of his camera, blocking the view.


Overall Rating:
For having a great two thirds of a movie and a pretty mediocre last third, I'll give this movie 3*'s out of 5, or 6*'s out of 10. It's a pretty decent movie, not as funny as I was expecting but very enthralling and pulls you in. The ending will probably dig at me for days though. Great last line though, I'll say that!


When You Should See It:
While it's a pretty good film, it was based on real, factual events that you can actually do research on yourself. Not Blair-Witch kind of real, but real-real. So I'd say don't bother wasting a queue space on it simply because in a year cable networks will be fawning all over this film waiting to get it on tv. Watch it then, it's not worth avoiding, but nothing special enough to go out of your way to watch.

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