The Informant!

Yes, the exclamation point is appropriate! This totally unpredictable plot is based on the book written by Kurt Eichenwald, which in turn was based on true-life events which surrounded a price-fixing scheme involving the Agri-giant conglomerate Archer Daniels Midland Co., headquartered in Decatur, Illinois, and a true-life whistleblower named Mark Whitacre, played by Matt Damon (the “Bourne” and “Ocean’s” franchises).

For this project, Damon gained over 30 pounds and is utterly convincing as a middle-aged chemist turned FBI informant, clearly in waaay over his head. Scott Bakula (98 episodes of “Enterprise” and lots of TV) and Seattle's own Joel McHale (“The Soup” and many cameos) are the two increasingly bewildered FBI men who work with Whitacre during a three- to five-year period as he helps gather evidence for their international crackdown of ADM by the Justice Department. Their befuddlement is due to the unexpected layers of conspiracy that Whitacre peels away, step by step, over the years.

To say that Damon’s character made my head spin might give away too much, so I will simply say that this movie is very, very funny and Matt Damon is perfect! He was wise enough to pair, once again, with Producer George Clooney (“Leatherheads” and “Michael Clayton”) and Director Steven Soderbergh (“The Good German” and the “Ocean’s” franchise).

The rollicking score by Marvin Hamlisch leaves no doubt that you are watching a comedy. Watch for unexpected faces: Both Tom and Dick Smothers are there, although you must be alert or you’ll miss Tom….