Movie: ‘The Informant’
On DVD: Feb. 23, 2010
Director: Steven Soderbergh
MPAA Rating: R for language
Film Gecko Rating:
Matt Damon can do pretty much any sort of movie, but we haven’t really soon too many goofy characters out of him. I loved him in ‘The Bourne Trilogy,’ and thought he did a pretty good job in the recent ‘Green Zone,’ a war movie revolving around the weapons of mass destruction, or lack thereof.
‘The Informant’ is a true story based on a book by Kurt Eichenwald about an agri-business corporation (Archer Daniels Midland) accused of price fixing. Damon plays vice president turned informant Mark Whitacre, who ends up being a spy for the FBI — an informant who gathers intel about the illegral activities of his company. In reality, Whitacre was the highest-ranking executive in U.S. history to blow the whistle in a corporate fraud case.
Whitacre doesn’t want the job at first, but he’s forced into it and ends up thinking he truly is a top secret agent spy. As you might imagine, there’s some laughs in there – because he’s not much of a spy — but also some drama as he tries to keep track of all the lies. There’s also the matter of some $9 million that he embezzled along the way for his personal use. We get an explanation for that in the movie, but Whitacre never wanted to use it in his defense.
‘The Informant’ could easily have been a crime thriller on a par with ‘Michael Clayton’ or ‘State of Play,’ but it comes off a little goofier than that, thanks to Damon’s lightness to his role. But rest assured, there’s plenty of tense moments as Whitacre realizes he’s screwed whatever way he turns.
It’s a fun movie. When you’ve got the pairing of Damon, executive producer George Clooney, and director Steven Soderbergh, anything can happen. Scott Bakula, Patton Oswalt, Joel McHale, and Melanie Lynskey are also onboard. It’s rated R for language.
Image: Warner Bros.