Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Informant! - 3 stars

If they ever give out an award for casting, this movie would win in a landslide. This is probably the most interesting cast I have ever seen. As the movie went on, it became part of the fun of the movie to spot another cameo. Here are the people who show up in The Informant!:

Tom Wilson (Biff from Back to the Future)
Scott Bakula (Quantum Leap)
Joel McHale (host of The Soup on E!)
Bob Zany (, bay-bee!)
Clancy Brown (The Shawshank Redemption)
Tony Hale (Arrested Development)
Patton Oswalt (comedian, actor, self-proclaimed geek)
Paul F. Tompkins (comedian, actor)
The Smothers Brothers (you should know who they are ...)
Frank Welker (voice actor, 600 credits including the voice of Megatron)

I didn't mention Matt Damon, cause you know, that's no surprise. But he is good in this, as always. Oh, how is the movie?

Well, I can't remember the last time I saw a movie that started out this badly and ended up so great. I was bored for the first 20 minutes or so. Damon plays Mark Whitacre, an executive at an agricultural business. They are losing money because there is a virus that is killing their lysine production. Whitacre says there is a mole in their company, working for a Japanese competitor, and they want $10 million to stop the virus. They bring the FBI in to investigate, and Whitacre tells him that there is major price fixing going on at their company. Customers world wide are being ripped off because his company regularly meets with competitors to keep the prices going up.

The movie starts to get entertaining here. They ask Whitacre to wear a wire and help videotape the secret meetings. Whitacre must be the dumbest whistle blower in the history of corporate America, because he thinks he will still get to keep his job after all this blows over.

The third act kicks off when Whitacre casually reveals that he may have been doing some illegal activities on his own, and he asks the FBI if "hypothetically, would that be bad?" From this point on, it was non-stop laughs. It was confusing, but that doesn't matter. I still don't quite understand everything he did (one of those scams involving a Nigerian prince), but by the end I was loving it.

If the entire movie had been as good as the last act, I probably would have given it 4 stars. But it started out so slowly I couldn't go over 3. So I recommend it, just remember to be patient and get through the first half hour.

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