Matt Damon & Scott Bakula in The Informant
Matt Damon & Scott Bakula
There's a scene in the deliciously deadpan new
In a drama, such a scene would come from the heart and aim for the gut.
Here, though, we're in the company of a very slippery fish, and the scene strikes the tone of an Oscar acceptance speech delivered by a man who didn't actually win the award.
More than any previous screen role, this one affords Damon a chance to work his sly comic chops.
In Soderbergh's three "Ocean's" films, Damon played Robin to
Product warning: Do not expect the wild farce promised by the ad campaign.
Soderbergh shot the film on crisp, honey-hued high-definition digital video, set largely in generic Midwestern office spaces. Damon's voice and demeanor are just right, and the actor -- who really is an actor, a good one -- works out Whitacre's particularities like a character man stepping up to a leading role, rather than a movie star, slumming.
I have no idea how large an audience "The Informant!" is destined to attract. But that's one of its pleasures; it doesn't have a suck-up, how'm-I-doin'? air. It lets
"The Informant" Movie Trailer
What was Mark Whitacre thinking? A rising star at agri-industry giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), Whitacre (Matt Damon) suddenly turns whistleblower. Even as he exposes his companys multi-national price-fixing conspiracy to the FBI, Whitacre envisions himself being hailed as a hero of the common man and handed a promotion. But before all that can happen, the FBI needs evidence, so Whitacre eagerly agrees to wear a wire and carry a hidden tape recorder in his briefcase, imagining himself as a kind of de facto secret agent. Unfortunately for the FBI, their lead witness hasnt been quite so forthcoming about helping himself to the corporate coffers. Whitacres ever-changing account frustrates the agents (Scott Bakula and Joel McHale) and threatens the case against ADM as it becomes almost impossible to decipher what is real and what is the product of Whitacres active imagination.
MPAA rating: R (for language).
Running time: 1:48.
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