The Informant

Years ago I read Kurt Eichenwald's The Informant. It's a beast of a book, but it falls in a category of book I'm fond of, the white collar crime or falls-from-grace chronicles (see also The Smartest Guys in the Room: The Amazing Rise and Scandalous Fall of Enron, Den of Thieves, Barbarians at the Gate: The Fall of RJR Nabisco, When Genius Failed: The Rise and Fall of Long-Term Capital Management, Liar's Poker: Rising Through the Wreckage on Wall Street). It's also a great read.

I was surprised to hear Steven Soderbergh was turning it into a movie, and even more surprised after watching this trailer.

The book always struck me as fairly somber, more of a tragedy or melodrama than what this trailer seems to convey, something more comic in tone. No doubt that informant Mark Whitacre, played here by a mustachioed Matt Damon, was a nut. But this adaptation seems to seek the humor in the witness and FBI's ineptitude rather than the tragedy of their shaky efforts to bring down Archer Daniels Midland.

It's always dangerous concluding too much based on a trailer, but the intent to set audience expectations on tone is very strong here, down to the exclamation point that punctuates the title (the official title listed at IMDb right now is "The Informant!").