Matt Damon, Scott Bakula, Melanie Lynskey, Joel McHale
Brian Shepard: Everyone in this country is a victim of corporate crime by the time they finish breakfast.
Mark Whitacre (Damon) is a physicist who was promoted to management in his company, and once he was exposed to the insider secrets involving price fixing, he decided to become an informant for the FBI.
The best way I’ve come up with to describe my experience watching this movie is this: it’s like listening to an album where all the songs sound so similar that they all just run together and become unmemorable. If you listen to one song by itself, it’s good, but in context with the other songs, it just seems bland. Likewise, certain scenes from this movie are good on their own, but the movie as a whole was fairly forgettable.
Matt Damon does a good job transforming himself into this odd lead character, but the problem is the character is kind of dull and annoying. About 80% of everything he says is a lie, and it gets tedious trying to figure out what’s true and what isn’t. This movie is based on a true story, and if the real life guy was anything like Damon’s character, then it’s surprising to me that he was able to rise so high in the company in the first place.
The performances were pretty good across the board, including Melanie Lynskey as Whitacre’s wife, and Scott Bakula and Joel McHale as the agents overseeing Whitacre. Though McHale wasn’t given all that much to do.
There are a few interesting twists in the last half of the movie, but by that time the monotone look of the cinematography and the one-note performance from Damon had worn me down a bit, and I was just ready for it all to be resolved finally. In some ways I think the movie would have been more enjoyable if it was told from the point of view of Scott Bakula’s character, Shepard. That way it wouldn’t be so frustrating for the audience when we start finding out just how much of Whitacre’s stories are lies. Maybe it was the goal of the movie to frustrate and confuse. If so, job well done.
Those corporations…they can be pretty sneaky.
10 – 2.5 for being tedious and confusing – .7 for an overall drab appearance = 6.8