The U.S. government decides to go after an agricultural business giant for a price-fixing scheme that’s based on the evidence submitted by their star witness — vice president turned informant Mark Whitacre, played by Matt Damon. The film costars Scott Bakula and Joel McHale as two FBI agents working the case Damon plays the bumbling Whitacre, a compulsive liar, moron, and probably the world’s worst informant. Steven Soderbergh (Ocean’s 11, Ocean’s 12) directs this comedy.
6 out of 10
Damon nails the compulsive liar, sociopath, but as a protagonist, it’s a hard character to endure for two hours. We watch him bumble and stumble, and screw up an investigation while he tries to climb the corporate ladder. He’s just a complete moron, but we’re not laughing at him, or with him. We’re cringing along the way.
This type of character can work, like Borat did so masterfully, but it’s more annoying in this case — especially because this is based on a true story. This guy really existed, and our government is really this dumb. Scott Bakula is a nice counterpart to Damon as an optimistic FBI agent who risks his career for the case.
The film seems to drag because it annoyed me so much. It was hard to believe that someone could be so dimwitted. This isn’t a bad movie, it’s just not a great movie.