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The Informant!
BLU-RAY disk
Mar 8, 2010 By: Aaron the H
The Informant! order
Director:
Steven Soderbergh

Actors:
Matt Damon
Scott Bakula
Joel McHale

Rating:
Movie:
Extras:
Overall:

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WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
An eccentric upper-level corporate exec (Matt Damon) in early 90's Illinois turns whistle-blower when the FBI catches wind of some shady business tactics at his company. Things get interesting when the FBI discovers that their whistle-blower has been engaged in some shady dealings of his own.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Oh how I wanted to love this movie. I had high hopes. I really dig Soderbergs workwhen hes not lost in his own style. Out Of Sight, Traffic, Oceans 11, even Bubble, all technically solid, emotionally engrossing filmmaking that packs a punch. But then theres the other Soderbergh. The one who loses himself in his own bizarre quest to be zany. Oceans 12 comes to mind. And now, so too does The Informant!.

The first thing you notice about The Informant (Im dropping the quirky exclamation mark from here on out) is Matt Damons oddball narration. You think hes talking to us to set up the story, give us some sense of place, but no, he just wants to share random facts with us. This continues throughout the flick no less than 15 times, and I get it, I do- the filmmakers want to show us that this guy is somewhat of an egomaniac who likes to hear himself talk, but there are other funnier, less repetitive ways to accomplish this.

The second thing you notice is the insane musical score by legend Marvin Hamlisch. Its about as subtle as a semi-truck pulling off a drive-by, and sounds like a Midwestern carnie band met up with Austin Powers (youll see). The whole thing is extremely distracting and removes all seriousness from the film, which would have been fine if all the characters werent sowellserious-ish. I add the ish because nobody ever gets seriousness enough for there to be any sense of drama or intensity here, despite the near-certain loss of several billion dollars and potential massive jail terms at stake for all parties involved.

This is probably the way things actually play out in real life when a corporate scandal goes down. The labels of villain and hero arent so easily designated in the real world, and thats certainly the case here- nowhere more apparent than with Damons crazy-ass character (based on real-life tattle tale Mark Whitacre). In fact, despite all its oddballness, The Informant has a surprisingly docu-style feel, and thats where it lost my interest, since the advertising falsely promised a more kooky, riotous affair. Sadly, the funniest parts are all in the trailer, so without that laugh-out-loud comedic element and without any kind of tension or suspense, this film just wasnt my cup of tea. Nevertheless, because Soderbergh is at the helm, you know this puppy is going to be technically sound, beautifully shot, and solidly acted by the unusual cast. So hey, there's that.
THE EXTRAS
Feature Commentary by director Steven Soderbergh and writer Scott Burns - These two men are intelligent for sure, but like the film, its just not the most exciting thing to sit through. That said, if youre a fan of the film, these two are chock full of anecdotes about the real story and dont shy away from their motivations in making the film.

Deleted Scenes (6:25) - A half dozen quick scenes, two of which are pretty funny. If youre itching for more Informant, here ya go.

The Blu-ray also comes with a Digital Copy.
FINAL DIAGNOSIS
The Informant is an example of a film that's pretty well-made, but not very enjoyable. Not too funny and not that serious, it functions mostly as an insider's look at how real-life corporate corruption might play out (SPOILER ALERT: it's not very exciting).
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