welcome to lobos reviews

title image

Movie Review: The Informant!

Alternate Title: Cornpone

Story: Why director Steven Soderbergh chose to take serious subjects like corporate malfeasance, global price fixing and kickbacks and turn his film into a quasi-comedy is anyone's guess. The largely unimpressive screenplay was written by Scott Z. Burns and based on the over 600 page book by Kurt Eichenwald.

The time is 1992 and the place is Decatur, Illinois. Mark Whitacre, an upper level management man and biochemist for Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) goes to the FBI with information that could bring down the company. Over a series of years and 200 secret tapes the FBI is ready to pounce. I will not divulge much more information other than to say this movie is presented as a series of sight gags with accompanied kitschy 70's sitcom music by Marvin Hamlisch and a disjointed stream of voiceovers by Whitacre (although that was my favorite part).

So why didn't this film work for me? I guess I did not find much amusement in the main story of corporate crime. I did, however, find interest in the Mark Whitacre character but by the time his story is told I was long looking at my watch.

Watch the trailer here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZR-YaikU_x4

Acting: Matt Damon is always good but even he has a heard time pulling this off. Scott Bakula and Joel McHale as the FBI agents were fine given what they had to work from. Melanie Lynskey as the good wife was earnest. The entire supporting cast was fine considering the script was marginal including: Rick Overton, Tom Papa, Tom Wilson, Clancy Brown, Tony Hale, Ann Cusack, Allan Havey, and Rusty Schwimmer.

Trivia: Matt Damon's Matt's first film role was a one-line part in Mystic Pizza (1988). In1998, Matt played the title role in Steven Spielberg's film, Saving Private Ryan, which was one of the most acclaimed films in that year. In his personal life, Matt is now happily married to Argentine-born Luciana Barroso, whom he met in Miami, where she was working as a bartender. They married in a private civil ceremony on December 9, 2005, at the Manhattan Marriage Bureau. The couple have three children Alexia, Luciana's daughter from a previous relationship as well as Isabella and Gia Zavala, both Matt's and Luciana's child together.

Predilection: I sometimes like Soderbergh and always like Matt Damon.

Food: Corn, meat and potatoes.

Sex Spectrum: None

Blatant Product Placement: Coca Cola

Soundtrack: Kitschy stuff by Marvin Hamlisch.

Opening Titles: The font that was used throughout the film was extremely annoying. It was garishly colored yellow or pink and reminded me more of the flippy 60's than the 1990's.

Visual Art: Decatur and most of the other settings were pretty bland.

Theater Audience: My returning movie buddy and I were alone in the theater. He promised he would not talk during the movie but occasionally broke his promise (he is forgiven and will be accompanying me soon again).

Weather: Lovely

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: 0

Drift Factor: I started to look at my watch after only 45 minutes.

Predictability Level: I lost interest.

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: No

Big Screen or Rental: Rental would be fine. Instead of this film, how about renting the very fine 'The Insider', instead.

Length: Under two hours.