Monday, September 28, 2009

"The Informant!"

The Informant! starring Matt Damon is an amusing film involving a real corporate whistle-blower Mark Whitacre. Directed by Steven Soderbergh (of the Ocean's 11 franchise), this film tackles the touchy subject of corporate deception and greed but makes it slightly comical.

A chubby Damon (he gained weight for the role) plays Whitacre, a wealthy and slighty crazy exec for ADM, a Fortune 500 agricultural business, in Decatur, Illinois. When the FBI gets wind of some suspicious business activity, mainly involving price fixing, Whitacre gets involved as an inside spy for the FBI. He confesses to Special Agent Brian Shepard (Scott Bakula) that some untoward things have been going on at the company and agrees to act as their informant.

Whitacre begins to wear a wire to meetings as he becomes their spy. Special Agent Bob Herndon (E!'s The Soup host Joel McHale) also becomes involved in the case to bring down the company. Mark's wife Ginger (Melanie Lynskey) urges him to tell the truth to clear his name. Poor Ginger doesn't seem to really know the half of it though. Her husband has also been accepting kickbacks and embezzling money. All the while he still believes that he's the one "wearing the white hat" in the company. We later find out that he may have suffered from bipolar disorder among being a pathological liar.

During the funniest scenes in the movie, you can hear Whitacre's thoughts. They are inane and hilarious. Damon was great in this role - throughout most of the film, I didn't even remember that it was he. That's a pretty impressive feat for a former People's Sexiest Man Alive.

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