Mark Whitacre has worked for lysine developing company ADM for many years and has even found his way into upper management. But nothing has prepared him for the job he is about to undertake - being a spy for the FBI. Unwillingly pressured into working as an informant against the illegal price-fixing activities of his company, Whitacre gradually adopts the idea that he's a true secret agent. But as his incessant lies keep piling up, his world begins crashing down around him. Written by
The Massie Twins
Attorney James Epstein (Tony Hale) has a Mobius Advertising Award in his office. See more »
The establishing shot for the first scene at Brian Shepard's office states that the office is in Springfield, Illinois, but shots of the door to the FBI to Shepherd's FBI field office says Decatur, Illinois, where ADM is located. See more »
You know that orange juice you have every morning? You know what's in that? Corn. And you know what's in the maple syrup you put on your pancakes? You know what makes it taste so good? Corn. And when you're good and help with the trash, you know what makes the big, green bags biodegradable?
[to his son]
Corn *starch*. But Daddy's company didn't come up with that one. DuPont did.
See more »
Prologue: "While this motion picture is based on real events, certain incidents and characters are composites, and dialog has been dramatized. So there." See more »
One of the tag lines for this film is "un-believ-able." No lie here. You really have to suspend belief to accept just about anything going on in this film. This is the type of film where some people will write reviews or discuss the film based on how quickly they decided to bale out on it.
The basic premise is intriguing and quirky. It's all about corporate hi-jinks in a business specializing in the various derivatives of corn. Not exactly the high stakes world of high finance, precious metals, energy products, or God forbidden, weapons manufacture. Fearing industrial sabotage the FBI is called in but is quickly called off because of some confusion (never totally explained) as to which phone lines they are tapping.
Naturally, the FBI doesn't stop. They are encouraged to continue and launch an investigation of price fixing at the instigation of the lead character, Whitacre (Matt Damon), who agrees to participate in the investigation as an informant. That's where you better get ready for a whole series of improbable circumstances developing which are going to test your ability to suspend belief.
Basic problem centers around character and character development.
At some point, it turns out that Whitacre has been embezzling from his company. The methodology for this is never really explained but it involves fake invoices and others willing to give most of it back to Whitacre; mostly all done with checks no less. The motivation of the character is passed off as some kind of Bi-polar problem. This is totally "un-believ-able" without any other solid evidence of Bi-polar problems on the part of the character.
The Scott Bakula character has absolutely nothing developed in the way of character other than wearing what seems to be a cheap Mr. Spock wig.
Whitacre's wife (Ginger/Melanie Lynskey) also has no depth. There's nothing interesting or appealing about her. We're not sure if merely shares her husband's "delusions" or encourages them.
On the very narrow plus side, Matt Damon is always a pleasure to see on the screen.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?