A rising star at an agri-industry giant suddenly turns into a delirious whistleblower. Despite exposing his company’s misconduct to the FBI, he imagines hero status among his blue-collar ranks – and a promotion of course.
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An excellent film that turns a tragedy into a comedy, if only to make the actual revelation of the character's motivations all the more shocking. Soderbergh's clever riffing on '60s spy-capers in a film about '90s corporate politics is inspired; perfectly establishing the skewed perspective of the central character and the bigger-than-life, Walter Mitty-type situations that he embroils himself in.
***1/2. I found the tone of the film absolutely fantastic. Soderbergh manages to handle parody, I think here about the numerous homages to James Bond films, with an uncommon delicacy. The Informant! or how make people think about important matters with a smile on their face. Recommended.
I keep questioning why I disliked this film because there is every reason to like it -- great acting, direction and solid writing. However, I couldn't help but compare this biased (and mocking) take on Whitacre to Jerry Lundegaard in "Fargo". The differences highlight what doesn't work in "Informant!": the tone is monotonously parodic and doesn't fold in the essential pathos until the end (props to Bakula btw).
Maybe not quite what it could have been, but an entertaining comedy that's a nice change of pace coming from director Steven Soderbergh. Matt Damon is perfect in the lead, as is the great supporting cast - the performances often pull it through a somewhat muddled script. Great old-fashioned, over the top score by Marvin Hamlisch.
The movie's storytelling rhythm was a little slack, but the thing I took away from this was an open-ended proposition: What exactly was Whitacre thinking to drag out one lie after another that would ensnare him and squash his reputation in the end? "The Informant!" holds a truism for life, that you can't know exactly what someone is thinking. You have motivations, but you can't ever really get into someone's head.
Soderbergh and Damon have become champs at tagteaming capitalism, and good for them. Damon's corporate sociopath is one of the most daring and jawdropping characterizations in recent film. He's a folk hero in his own mind, spinning himself into bad Tom Cruise flicks even as he defrauds both the 1% and the government in one go. Strange bedfellows, you say? I bet this is more deeply kinky than their Liberace one.
Matt Damon brings the best to this role that seems to keep him from breaking out due to the constraints of the overall movie. If the trailer were to lead you to believe this is a complete comedy, it is not, but absurdity and such unbelievable paths this movies takes you makes you thankful it doesn't fall into typical comedy.