The major issue I had with the film is that Steven Soderbergh takes so much delight in the absurdity of the situation that he glosses over many of the significant moments. The film glibly portrays Whitacre as a buffoon yet ignores the fact that he is actually a very smart man. It is tough to look at Whitacre as an idiot when comes from and ivy-league education, drives expensive cars, and pulls down a six figure salary. He is a man whose bipolar disorder is the catalyst for not only ADP's downfall but Whitacre's as well. Yes the situation Whitacre finds himself in are amusing; yet I could not help but feel slightly cheated by the end of the picture.
The most fascinating aspects of the story, in my opinion, are the price fixing and Whitacre’s motivations for working with the FBI for as long as he did. The bipolar element should heighten the overall complexities of these two situations from a cinematic stand point but, unfortunately, it does not. The Informant! felt like one long running gag where, by the end, you have learned nothing significant. Sure you laugh many moments but what is the point of telling Whitacre's story if you have nothing really relevant to say about it? The fact that Soderbergh uses an airy 1960’s sitcom-style tone in the film only helps to trivialize the whole film even further.
The one true gem in this film is Matt Damon. He, along with Soderbergh’s red-herring style of narration, is what keeps you interested in the film despite its many short comings. Damon really captures Whitacre's self absorb persona, especially in regards to the scenes where Whitacre gets to live out his fantasy of being a secret agent. At times it seems like Matt Damon is on a completely different level than everyone else. I found it odd that Soderbergh rounded out the supporting cast with talent comedians (e.g. Tom Papa, Tony Hale, Jonh McHale) yet had them all play it straight. Besides, Scott Bakula’s dimwitted FBI agent, there is not much for Damon to playoff of. While I was expecting another solid film from Steven Soderbergh, sadly, The Informant! left me feeling indifferent to both the price fixing scandal and Whitacre's life as a whole. The film had the potential to be something special but ended up being as forgettable as some of Whitacre's lies.