The Informant! (2009)

R   |    |  Biography, Comedy, Crime


The Informant! (2009) Poster

The U.S. government decides to go after an agro-business giant with a price-fixing accusation, based on the evidence submitted by their star witness, vice president-turned-informant Mark Whitacre.


6.4/10
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Director:

Steven Soderbergh

Writers:

Scott Z. Burns (screenplay), Kurt Eichenwald (book)

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19 September 2009 | ferguson-6
7
| Your White Hat is a bit Dirty
Greetings again from the darkness. Steven Soderbergh is a genius with a camera. Just admiring the shots, angles and movement of the camera in his films is worth the price of admission. Here we get a fact-based story from the book by Kurt Eichenwald showing us what happened when Mark Whitacre became one of the most famous corporate whistle-blowers of all time ... he exposed price-fixing at Archer Daniels Midland, the ag-giant.

Matt Damon takes this quasi-caricature and turns him into a comedy act along the lines of Jim Carrey in Liar, Liar. OK, I'll admit, there is more subtlety here than in that one. Still, the voice-overs by Damon's character provide the ramblings of a madman - an ADD, embezzling madman.

There is so much comedy here that it is easy to forget what heinous crimes the senior management of this company actually committed - and how arrogant to think they could get away with it. This again shows that many in the corporate world are the equals of even the most corrupt politicians. Power and Greed are all-consuming.

While, I don't know the details of the real story, it was interesting to watch Whitacre's interacting/playing with the FBI agents (Scott Bacula and Joel McHale). They want to believe him and are actually crushed when his game is exposed.

A real Soderbergh touch is the casting of both Smothers Brothers in unrelated roles. Very nice. It is very difficult for me to believe that someone as intelligent and shrewd as Whitacre could actually be so, well, goofy. But it does add an entertainment element to the film. I will say it is not at the level of far superior "The Insider" or even "Catch Me if You Can", but it is quite watchable.

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