Friday, 30 July 2010

Who Wants That Texture In Their Mouth?

Steven Soderbergh... well, he likes to keep himself busy. In 2008 he had the epic four hour Che extravaganza (which I will watch in one sitting one day when I have that much time free...), in 2009 he knocked out The Girlfriend Experience and The Informant!, and he so far this year has And Everything Is Going Fine with The Last Time I Saw Michael Gregg also listed as a 2010 release and three more titles in the works for next year. And he still manages to hit with some degree of critical and commercial consistency. How? I'm assume the devil's work.

The Informant! saw him working with his Ocean's trilogy collaborator Matt Damon, netting Damon a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical. Damon plays Mark Whitacre, a long time employee of an Illinois-based company involved in the production of lysine. One day he spills to an FBI agent that a number of executives, including himself, have been involved in the fixing of the price of lysine globally for many years. Mark goes informant for the Feds, spending years collecting hundreds of hours of audio and visual evidence to be used against his employer and many other companies around the world - this is a mammoth undertaking.

As it all progresses the stress and strain of his role start to see Mark unravel. His mind gradually topples and he shows signs of bipolar disorder - plus he decides to embezzle a fairly significant sum of money. All the while he is convinced that, after the collapse of pretty much all of the higher ranking employees at his company, the board will see that he is looking after their best interests and promote him to run the company. All in all, his deranged antics see him put in jail for three times as long as those criminals he initially set out to bring down.

Yeah, Damon was good. It was quite an entertaining role, and he pulled it off properly. Historically, I've never been a huge Matt Damon fan, but I'm starting to warm to him a little more. Still, I've seen him do better. Melanie Lynskey, who plays his wife, seems to ham it up a fair bit, which kind of works in a way, but probably not to the extent she does it. Soderbergh's take on the entire film (apparently a true story) seems to caricature it somewhat - presumably to make the idea of lysine-fixing entertaining to the general public. I mean, this isn't the tobacco industry. You can't pull through with an Insider. What the hell is lysine anyway?

That's all I really have to say on the film. Also because I have to go and get ready for work. And really, it was all just a little nothing. It was entertaining, but very easily forgettable. 2.5 stars.

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