What could have been turned into a drama or thriller has been turned into a quirky black comedy by director Steven Soderbergh and actor Matt Damon who stars as Mark Whitacre, a vice president for an agri-business giant that is guilty of price-fixing. The FBI is all to eager to enlist the service of Mark but is too focused on bringing the company down they forget to look into Mark himself. Why would someone bring a company down that allows him to make millions and drive nice cars?
The FBI comes into play when someone is suing the company for 10 million dollars. This person only wants to talk with Mark and thus the company decides to call in the feds even though they aren’t exactly clean themselves. For that reason they insist that the FBI only taps his home phone, and not his work phone. At this point I got the feeling that Mark and the guy blackmailing the company are one and the same which says enough about the character.
Throughout The Informant Mark provides us with useful info, strange tidbits and explanations. One of the info is about the German word for pen, which is Kugelschreiber. All those syllables for a word like “pen”. It’s an example of how quotable this movie actually is. Even if you don’t like it you can always use some quotes and steal the show with your friends. The other comedy lies in the portrayal or Mark Whitacre by Matt Damon. Finding himself suddenly in an undercover operation he’s like a fish out of the water, talking into his jacket where his wire is describing everywhere he is and everyone he comes across.
But as a comedy this is not a laugh-out-loud fest. I had moments that that occurred but on a whole this is a movie that makes you grin most of the times. The movie lingers between being a comedy and straight retelling of the facts. Although this isn’t exactly the way it probably happened (as was made clear by the opening statement) it’s a fun little movie that is strangely involving without anything really happening. No chases, no company hit-men and such, yet still entertaining for the full 2 hours.