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The Informant!

Matt Damon gained over 40lbs for this movie and he certainly looks every inch of it.  But people who hate on The Oscars make fun by saying that anyone who changes their appearance usually wins one.  So is Damon next on that list?  I don’t know, but I think he should get a nomination.  He plays a fat, bumbling headcase named Mark Whitacre who became an FBI informant against his own company.  But wait…there’s SO much more.  In fact there’s so much to this true story that it gets pretty confusing.  That’s the problem with white collar crime – it’s pretty hard to follow.  Tell me that someone got shot or a store got robbed and I can follow that.  But you tell me that Bernie Madoff made off with $500,000,000 in a Ponzi Scheme and I have no idea what you’re talking about.  This film, from directing master Steven Soderbergh, tries its best to explain what kind of crimes are going on but doesn’t slow down for the slow kids in class.  I wasn’t a slow kid, but I wasn’t an A+ one either while watching this.  However, whether you get the plot completely or not doesn’t hinder your ability to laugh at the utterly stupid things that are done and said by Damon’s character, which leads me to wonder why the real Mark Whitacre would ever allow this movie to be made.  Nevertheless it was and it’s good.  Soderbergh (the Oceans 11-13 movies, “Traffic” and “Erin Brockovich”) is great at making his movies seem cool and slick, even when it’s not.  Every scene has its own color and every angle has a purpose.  It’s really fun to watch as a film geek, although “The Informant!” doesn’t scream his name overall.  It does though in two areas.  The first is the casting, which has the formerly famous such as Scott Bakula (“Quantum Leap”) and Thomas Wilson (Biff from “Back to the Future”), the upcoming like Joel McHale (“Talk Soup,” “Community”) and a bevy of stand-up comics in not so funny roles.  The other area that is classic Soderbergh is the soundtrack which was done by the camp-master, Marvin Hamlisch.  It’s almost a character in the movie itself adding whimsy and goofiness to a movie that, at times, is a fairly dark comedy about the unraveling of a man.  The movie is almost 2 hours but feels more like 3, but not in a bad way.  There’s just so much information in the film that I wonder if some of it could’ve been kept out since it didn’t have the luxury to explain it in a timely or entertaining way.  But Matt Damon might have the mental illness of Mark Whitacre to thank come Oscar night if…that is if no other actors come out this year with a changed appearance too.
The Informant! (Rated R)
Gavin Grade: B+

1 comment so far ↓

#1 Globals on 10.02.09 at 2:52 pm

all good things