Matt Damon is priceless as “The Informant!”

Mike Geer

Never before has corn been so hilarious. Based on true events, “The Informant!” depicts the cutthroat world of price fixing, scheming, and greed that goes on every day in the agriculture industry.

Mark Whitacre, played by Matt Damon, is a mustached mastermind rising through the ranks at Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), a profitable seller of corn-based products throughout the world. Every thing you eat, from breakfast to dinner, is likely to have an ADM product in it at some point. The money-loving executives see this and embark on a global price fixing conspiracy with a number of vicious Japanese investors. Whitacre catches onto this and, when approached by the FBI, works to take down the top players in this scheme to siphon off billions from taxpayers.

With a soundtrack that would not be out of place in a 1970s elevator, the film’s absurdity almost makes audiences forget that they are witnessing a Bernie Madoff-like embezzlement scam. The plain style of film-making would seem nothing short of lame, if that were not the intent of the movie’s producers, for it fits perfectly with the excitement of a corn company.

The hilarity comes from all sides, from Whitacre’s random thoughts to the web of lies unfolding around every main character. Whitacre, though he begins as a fighter for the good guys, realizes his situation and decides to begin embezzling money right under the Bureau’s nose. Damon’s performance of an average Midwestern father and husband is nothing short of priceless. The roller-coaster plot zooms through 6 years in a matter of hours, leaving viewers spinning in their seats wondering what in God’s green earth is going on. Ultimately, the comic genius of Damon and director Steven Soderbergh, fuse together with arbitrary musings and glorious facial hair.