"Forlani and Cook cannot keep this from being Anti-Interesting."
Cyber-yarn for cyber-obsessives. A bunch of adults, accoutered in kids clothing, spend time in a garage all day computing away, hoping to discover the next “e-thing.”Bill Gatesian/motivational-like speaker (Tim Robbins) tries to recruit two, but gets only one (Ryan Phillippe, who more and more speaks as though he has a muffler or something in his mouth). The techie mogul has ulterior motives to control the world (cue insane and sinister laughter), and as Phillippe puts all this together, he thinks he can stop it by himself. Movies like Antitrust make me wish Y2K had actually happened. It consists of arcane silliness, where little attempt is made to make the cyber mumbo-jumbo conducive. There are a few translatable jokes (“Monica Lewinsky’s transcripts didn’t get this many hits,” or “You have a girlfriend? Like, a three-dimensional girlfriend?”) but as you may have guessed, humor is not Antitrust’s strength, priority, or concern. The capabilities of the computers fail to strike one as being impressive since they are shown to be limitless. Nothing we see in this movie hasn’t already been impressively shown off in more percipient versions like The Net or Virtuosity. There is never a challenge in a movie like this, where the screenwriter simply writes their way out of difficulty or improbability through some “unbelievable” loophole. One of my late New Year’s Resolution additions will be to go out of my way to ignore previews on television (considering how much TV I actually watch, that should not be a problem) and at the movies. I’ll try my best not to feel discouraged when people are looking at me oddly for plugging my ears, closing my eyes and humming really loudly. Case in point: the villainy of Tim Robbins. The preview clearly gives away that he is one of the bad guys spying on “the world [of technology geeks]” and that Phillippe’s character has yet to learn that. Yet it takes nearly half the running time of this movie before we are assured that Robbins is the crooked man, despite some horrible foreshadowing and natural suspicion. With Antitrust, I doubt having seen the trailer before I saw the movie made much of a difference, but when I think how the previews ruined Felicia’s Journey, Mumford and plenty others, not to mention setting up false hopes (Kikujiro, Psycho Beach Party, What Lies Beneath[/I[) no word like frustrating quite sums it up as well.
Directed by Peter Howitt. With Claire Forlani and Rachel Leigh Cook.[Not to be bothered with.]