There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Aspiring screenwriters take note: Unless you have a veritable Laurence Olivier in your movie, you’re running the risk of an unintentional laugh by having one character say of another, “He’s pretty honest with his feelings. I don’t think he knows how to act.” In this case, the line is spoken about Ryan Phillippe, who mumbles his way through Antitrust as Milo, supergenius. Milo is the flavor of the month in the world of hot young computer programmers and has been tapped by Gary Winston (Tim Robbins), a shamelessly Bill Gates-modeled character, to abandon his small world of friends and start-ups and join big, ruthless corporate America. It seems that Gary has been heralding the launch of a new satellite-communications technology that will allow anyone and everyone to link up their cell phones, televisions, car radios, and random pieces of lint, but he needs Milo’s ingenuity to work the bugs out before his much-publicized inaugural date. Milo’s friends—so young, so idealistic—don’t understand his desire to work for the Man, but Milo is apparently thrilled (with Phillippe, it seems more of a stoned indifference) to be taken under Gary’s wing. Then always-genial Gary snaps at Milo—a dark side!—one of Milo’s friends gets killed, and Gary suddenly reveals a breakthrough program eerily similar to one Milo’s friend was working on. Supergenius suspects that something’s not right in this technological utopia, and as he manages to bypass each of his company’s Mission: Impossible-style security measures in a quest to discover what’s really going on, he gradually finds out that—gasp!—no one can be trusted. The thrills are cheap and the acting is largely bad (Claire Forlani manages to play the most boring beautiful girlfriend ever), but Antitrust still has the slick, shiny, and alluring quality of a world where all the toys are cool and the moves that count are made by the smart and evil rather than the dumb and innocent. Too bad I was so quickly reminded—as the screening audience began to cheer at the final still of a triumphant Phillippe—that such a world exists only in the movies. —Tricia Olszewski