Worth A Look: 11.86%
Pretty Bad: 18.64%
Total Crap: 44.07%
4 reviews, 35 user ratings
by Scott Weinberg
Let's say I came into your house late one night, tied you up and kidnapped you. Let's further propose that I bound you to a chair and did horribly tortorous things to you while screaming the words "Antitrust is one of the stupidest movies ever made!" over and over. As I untied you to let you leave, you'd pause to take a deep long look into my vacant, twitching eyes. And you still wouldn't have a clue as to how truly awful this movie is.Every few years, a movie comes along that you're positive is trying to make you stupider. A movie that is comprised of about 15 old ideas and zero new ones. You never know what film it will be, but you can be sure you'll want to tell the whole world about it, so you can hopefully save others from a similar fate. (That, and it will probably be released in January.) Antitrust is one of those movies, and I hope you don't brand me as over-dramatic, but I'd go out on a limb and say that this movie is quite possibly the dumbest thing to come along since the birth of Anna Nicole Smith.
"Anti-Original. Anti-Entertaining. Anti-Watchable."
Ever see The Firm? Well, you can be damn sure Howard Franklin did, since his script is nothing more than a direct copy of that film, only with a lot more floppy disks. Stop me if you've heard this one before: A young 'whiz-kid' (named Milo! Yes, MILO!) fresh out of college gets recruited for a job beyond his wildest expectations. He meets with Gary Winston, his duplicitous yet impressive new boss. He brings along sweet girlfriend Alice who gets a lush new house to decorate, and then some people die. The hero does some quick deductive reasoning, rebels against his new employers and ends up thwarting the evil corporation. Yee-awn.
As far as the whole 'computer' plot upgrade, I was not impressed. I mean, exactly WHO is the intended audience for this movie? There's way too much cyber-jargon (none of which makes any sense, despite the script's efforts to achieve authenticity) for the average moviegoer, and the computer geeks will despise it for just being so irretrievably stupid.
I can tell from your mouse clicks that you want some examples. Fair enough, but be warned there are some minor spoilers ahead, although I couldn't possibly damage this movie any further. It's already way past spoiled.
A. About 15 minutes into the film, we're already being flooded with flashbacks! Call me crazy, but if you need flashbacks for something you saw 11 minutes ago, maybe movies shouldn't be your first choice in recreational activites.
B. Antitrust features quite possibly THE most annoying opening credits sequence ever. It's done in a 'computer monitor' style, which someone must have deemed real clever...since the movie is about...computers.
C. After an unimportant character is killed off, his buddy says "He figured out the computer program...It's not the box, it's the ban!" Not THREE minutes later, Robbins repeats the identical line, thereby proving his villainy. Someone slap me.
D. Antitrust features so many ridiculous product placements that I was half expecting someone to give me three bucks when the movie ended, like those market research companies do when you try out some new cracker.
OK, who's the brain surgeon who thought that Ryan Phillippe would be the right guy to play a computer genius? Call me insensitive, but that's like asking Eddie Murphy to play Marilyn Monroe. Ryan is so utterly unconvincing in this movie that I almost had trouble buying him as a male human. No better is the usually reliable Tim Robbins as the eeeevil billionaire computer guy. In a thinly veiled swipe at Bill Gates, Robbins comes off exactly like...Tim Robbins. Rachael Leigh Cook is given nothing at all to do, except for stand around in the rain and look like some woodland creature. And let's not forget the lovely Claire Forlani, who offers easily her worst performance ever, and that's not an easy thing to achieve.
One truly annoying trend in turkeys like Antitrust: The filmmakers know full well that the movie they are making is a homogenized and entirely predictable affair, so they throw in a handful of completely insipid plot twists, in the hopes that the audience will mistake 'desperate' writing for 'quality' writing. Plot starts to drag? OK, the girlfriend is now...a secret agent working for the Mafia!...and the Police Chief is now...a large talking Rottweiler wearing a giant rubber suit. I rolled my eyes during this movie so often that I think one fell out.
Not content with being merely annoying, Antitrust often crosses the line into offensive, as in a scene when a nice young man is brutally beaten to death as the rock soundtrack kicks in suddenly as if we were watching a sexy dance number. (I was 'shushed' three sepatrate times by my fellow audience members when I laughed out loud at the woeful dialogue.)
This is the kind of movie where absolutely every plot point is telegraphed about two hours earlier, which is strange since the movie itself is only about 105 minutes. It's THAT stale. One such truly moronic scene appears early on, as Milo and Alice are sitting down at a nice restaurant. Milo casually reaches for a dinner roll when Alice suddenly smacks it out of his hand and says something very much like "MILO! Are you crazy? You know that you're deathly allergic to sesame seeds and you just now almost ate one! Don't forget that sesame seeds can KILL you, Milo! Hmmm, I wonder if that's just a little character development, or is Milo going to have to contend with further sesame seed adventures a little later on?
(I don't know about you, but I just can't get enough of the name Milo.)
I could go on for hours on this movie, like when Milo <giggle> finally discovers the computers that are holding all the secret evil information. Maybe I don't know a whole lot about screenwriting, but to have a twenty minute segment containing the following things just isn't right:
1. Milo discovers which employee had been sexually molested by their stepfather, and the extraneous connection this now has to the "plot".
2. Milo uncover some nasty history about his girlfriend, complete with mug shots, filmed depositions and even a urine sample, I think.
3. Milo <hehe> discovers several full-length videos of every single murder committed by the evil corporation! I may not be a criminal mastermind, but if you're going to kill a whole lot of computer nerds to steal their programs, is there really ever a reason to film the murders and keep them on a hard drive? Ever?
It's been a really long time since I was so annoyed and insulted by one movie. Annoyed at the sheer lack of original thought, and insulted at the filmmakers' obvious contempt for their audience. I say contempt because I can't think of another way to describe it when someone charges you money for a product of such obviously atrocious quality.
Today is January 11th, and I've already seen the worst movie of the year. Nothing could be worse. Oh please let that be true.Sometimes when a particular movie gets thrashed by the critics, the filmmakers will invariably respond with a comment like "Hey, it's pretty easy to watch a movie that was the product of two years hard work and then just TRASH it for eight paragraphs". See, that's their way of dismissing a movie critic's role in the entertainment world. But what if the movie is blatantly plagiarized, unforgivably lazy and simply reeks of no effort whatsoever? Is it then OK to label it the piece of shit that it is?
link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=3908&reviewer=128
originally posted: 01/11/01 16:58:57