Movie Review by Nigel A. Messenger
Starring: Ryan Phillippe, Rachael Leigh Cook, Claire Forlani, Tim Robbins
Director: Peter Howitt
Have you ever wondered how big companies stay ahead in the technology race, trampling their smaller competitors out of existence while maintaining a good public image?
ANTITRUST takes these issues, mixes them up with some Hollywood style cloak ‘n’ dagger plotlines and spits out quite a gripping thriller that stops just short of naming Microsoft and Bill Gates as the bad guys.
Milo (Ryan Phillippe) fresh out of college, is a sort after computer programmer who is so highly thought of that everyone is falling over themselves to hire him, including Gary Winston (Tim Robbins) the head of the world’s leading computer technology company who is someone Milo has long admired.
Flattered by the attention Gary is giving him, Milo takes the job and is quickly given the company’s top project to work on. It’s not long however before Milo suspects things are not quite as they should be when Gary keeps giving him discs of information containing solutions to the problems encountered on the development project. Where are these discs coming from and who is doing this breakthrough work?
The situation becomes more sinister when Milo’s close friend, another brilliant programmer with his own independent business, becomes the latest victim in a series of tragic deaths all conveniently explained away by slightly too obvious clues found at the scene.
Milo starts to see his new employer in a different light and suddenly realises that no one is above suspicion. He has to trust someone and expose his employer – but who?
ANTITRUST is a very enjoyable, tense thriller that tries very hard not to insult the intelligence of anyone who knows anything about computing and communications technology. There are no beeps and flashing lights when a computer is being used, and its parallels to companies in real life are very close to the mark, although their dubious business practices are vastly exaggerated for the film (we hope!)
The only place where ANTITRUST lets itself down is at the very end where certain climatic events are unrealistically over simplified and the final scene in the film seems to have been written purely to get a good camera shot, regardless of the storyline.
That aside though ANTITRUST is an enjoyable one and a half hour’s worth of entertainment with a good performance from Ryan Phillippe and an outstanding one by Claire Forlani as his live-in girlfriend.
Pity about the very end though.