The Informant! has taken a rap for treating serious issues (corporate price fixing, embezzlement) in a lighthearted manner, and with some justification. After all, informant Mark Whitacre and other Archer Daniels Midland executives served real prison terms for their involvement in the 1990s scandal. Nothing funny about that.
In the film’s defense are Hollywood tradition and the moviegoer’s common sense. Filmmakers have been glorifying crooks forever (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Public Enemies), and most people understand the difference between reality and movies.
If you can deal with that divorce from reality and take director Steven Soderbergh’s black comedy for what it is, then The Informant! is an amusing lark. Matt Damon, apparently wearing a fat suit, is a mild-mannered delight as Whitacre, whose self-delusions only escalate as the American Dream crumbles around him.
Director: Steven Soderbergh Cast: Matt Damon, Scott Bakula, Joel McHale, Melanie Lynskey, Tony Hale, Thomas F. Wilson, Rick Overton, Tom Papa, Adam Paul, Paul F. Tompkins Release: 2009
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