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    February 5, 2010

    RENO REVIEWS: THE INFORMANT!


    THE INFORMANT! (English/18PL)


    Genre: Politic/Comedy
    Release Date: Not available
    Distributor: Warner Bros.
    Running Time: 108 mins.
    Director: steven Soderbergh
    Producers: Gregory Jacobs, Jennifer Fox, Michael Jaffe, Howard Braunstein, Kurt Eichenwald
    Writer: Scott Z Burns; Kurt Eichenwald (novel)
    Casts: Matt Damon, Scott Bakula, Joel McHale, Melanie Lynskey
    Plot: One night in early November 1992, the high-ranking ADM executive confessed to FBI agent Brian Shepard (Bakula), present only to install a wire tap on Whitacre's phone, that ADM executives—including Whitacre himself—had routinely met with competitors to fix the price of lysine, an additive used in the commercial livestock industry. As the highest-ranked executive to ever turn whistleblower in US history, Whitacre secretly gathered hundreds of hours of video and audio over several years to present to the FBI. He assisted in gathering evidence by clandestinely taping the company’s activity in business meetings at various locations around the globe such as Tokyo, Paris, Mexico City, and Hong Kong, eventually collecting enough evidence of collaboration and conspiracy to warrant a raid.



    THE VERDICT

    Jason Bourne…sorry, Matt Damon is out again taking down powerful bad people, only this time merely for his own interest (greed, maybe). Another dark comedy of the year directed by Steven Soderbergh, who we’ve been missing since ‘Ocean’s Thirteen’.

    As an adaptation of a book, the film managed to capture audiences with its unique narration by the main character, Mark Whitacre (played by Matt Damon), who from the high ranked executive of ADM turned into a FBI informant, who later became a prisoner of states convicted of frauds which involves 9.5 (or 11) million dollars. The plot centers on the personal agenda of Mark with surprising twists throughout the story. At first, the plot unfolds in a fast pace and involves too many characters that you may need some times to get used to it (just like the ‘Oceans’). However, once everything is in place, watching how Mark double cross both ADM and FBI is a hell of a joyride full with humorous dialogues and comedic moments.




    Casting wise, Matt Damon did a really great job by portraying as a bipolar sufferer and at the same time lies to and manipulates everyone around him. Matt’s hilarious acting plus his effort of putting on almost 30 pounds for the character, just for comedic purpose; I would say it’s very brilliant as it blows our mind by telling us he is not just merely a amnesic spy, but also a funny informant. For other members in casting, their roles are fair enough with contribution to the story flow, especially their unbelievable faces when realizing all of them were fooled by an ordinary-outlook man – they make you laugh. But, I’ll bet you may put on a similar looks as well every time you discovered more about Whitacre’s agenda.

    The screenplay is a straight chronology with unexpected turns every now and then. Almost every dramatic dialogue is concerned with the story. The only thing I found hard to digest is the part of the narration which hardly related to the story arch (anyway, the narrator is a bipolar after all). A story of corporate crime (thriller) – thanks to those creative screenwriters, it’s not a John Grisham-type of things but a perfect blend of comedy and crime which everyone will enjoy it.

    To sum up, ‘The Informant’ is a very laughable dark comedy, compared to its competitor nominee in awards ‘Up in the Air’, just lack of insights than the later. A movie that will lighten your day up and definitely worth your time watching Jason … sorry, Matt Damon on the screen playing a secret informant not for CIA this time, but FBI. How a highest level executive to ever become a FBI whistleblower who tried to double cross both? Check it out in ‘The Informant!’



    THE RATING:
    Story – 4.0 stars
    Casts – 3.5 stars
    Cinematography – 3.0 stars
    Effects – 3.0 stars
    OVERALL – 3.5 stars


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