Monday, October 5, 2009

A movie review: The Informant! (2009)

The Informant! (2009)

Director - Steven Soderbergh
Runtime: 108 min; R

Mark Whitacre -Matt Damon
FBI Special Agent Brian Shephard - Scott Bakula
FBI Special Agent Dean Paisley - Allan Havey

I like Matt Damon as an actor. I actually like almost everything he does. He has great role selection and I’m sure he will continue to pick challenging and proper roles for his personality. I also like Steven Soderbergh as a director. He always seems to ‘get it’ and that generally makes for a great viewing experience.

I am not sure, however, that I can confidently say that I liked The Informant!, a movie based on factual events that really do make a very interesting story, but, unfortunately, just do not translate well in this film. Damon does a great job as Mark Whitacre, a high ranking corporate executive at a large and prosperous company who finds himself in the middle of a global price-fixing ring. With the involvement of the FBI and an incredible story of lies and back-stabbing and a really great performance by Damon, this movie has all the makings of a great piece of art.

Unfortunately it drags. It drags and drags and drags. Every time you feel some momentum, it slows down, and then it gets complicated. If you pay really close attention, you just may understand everything that is going on, but if you take even a one second break you will find yourself asking what is happening?

This is the type of movie I fear – it has great acting and a great story but just doesn’t come across well and leaves you wondering why? Why did I feel so unsatisfied? Was it the hokey musical backgrounds as Whitacre walked down the aisles of his work place? I wish it were that easy, but Damon really gives a great performance here and I wish I could capture just what was missing. It was a decent movie and a great real life story (search for the real story online and you will be amazed at what transpired) but something was missing and I cannot in good faith suggest you see this movie right away, although I do believe it would work well in 6 months as a rental or something on cable.

** and a ½ out of 5

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