“The Informant” Double Agent for a Double Meaning

Genres: Comedy and Adaptation
Running Time:
1 hr. 48 min.
Release Date:
September 18th, 2009 (wide)
MPAA Rating:
R for language.
Warner Bros. Pictures Distribution

Directed by: Steven Soderbergh

JJ Rating: B

Mark Whitacre (Matt Damon) turned whistleblower for the FBI against a company he worked for. He spoke to FBI Special Agent Brian Shepherd (Scott Bakula) and Bob Herndon (Joel McHale). But there’s more to Mark than meets the inquisitive eye and being a snitch isn’t exactly rewarding. The Informant.

No it is not an interesting story in general. Why is it interesting enough to make into a movie? Because Mark Whitacre is a character that was real (though as the beginning points out totally dramatized…sometimes) and he has random thoughts that play throughout the film adding to the entertainment value of his awkwardness in being a “spy”. I think that Matt Damon is the shining star in this film. He just upstages everyone he’s in a scene with and totally embodies a really weird character that is highly intelligent for being in such a high amount of mess.

What I learned from this film is that helping the government catch the bad guys isn’t worth it. They don’t compensate you, they don’t thank you and they sure the hell don’t protect you. I guess you’ll have to own a car company, screw it into the ground and do everything upon everything wrong in marketing and design and then the government will come along and give you billions. But if you help them take down a few bad guys that are essentially hurting the American public’s pocket book…well you get to be humiliated and insulted for all that hard work. You get NOTHING for compensation. That doesn’t bode very well for the government and their lack of incentive to help them do anything. It’s so irritating. It’s even more irritating because apparently it’s ok to be a company that steals billions, but if you are a single individual that steal millions you’re in a load of trouble.

I don’t know if I could ever really watch this film again. I think that Damon did great, but the film, over all, is annoying via the situation. I hate how things are unfair like this. I also found the movie, over all, a bit jarring and confused. But that is reasonable for some of it, but that is something you have to see the entire film to understand. I found the quirky nature of the story telling interesting and there were really funny moments that I let out a hardy laugh when they stumbled by. What is interesting about Whitacre (other than his weird manner of handling things) is that he is a double agent for two reasons. One for being someone that is working for the government while still working for the company under the delusion that he might get a better position after it’s all done and two he’s a secret agent because of a hidden issue that only surfaces under stress. It’s rather interesting when put in this context.

The Informant has its moments and it does make a very dry and boring company far more interesting with a ‘character’ like Mark Whitacre. If he didn’t exist and it was some boring shmoo then it wouldn’t have been made into a movie, that’s for sure. The moral of the story is not to help the government because they sure the hell don’t care to help you or give you great compensation for being useful. Just keep your mouth shut and don’t be a tattle tale cause you don’t get jack for being a what? Being The Informant.

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