Antitrust (2001) - Synopsis
In the most revolutionary, globally impacting and cutthroat business the world has yet encountered - the high-speed, high-stakes computer industry - the powerful come to play, and play to win. Welcome to the dark heart of the digital age, to a place where millionaires are made in nanoseconds, where fortunes are won and lost in just a single line of code, and where private wars are being waged right now to decide who will control the future.
Antitrust is a relentless suspense thriller that enters this hidden world where the rich and the brilliant collide, where a handful of bright, driven young men and women have the means to make or break the technology that will dominate the global economy. Here in an atmosphere of secrecy, fierce competition and accusations of monopoly, the real fear for a rising young programmer caught up in the frenzy isn't just antitrust actions but whether, when things turn dangerous, anybody can be trusted at all.
Milo (RYAN PHILLIPPE) has the stuff it takes to make it to the top of the computer world. He's a master of the digital domain who's about to do what every young computer genius wants most: launch a high-tech start-up. It's not just any start-up either. Milo's garage-based company is devoted to the technology major corporations across the globe are currently chasing: the technology of digital convergence, or the linking of all forms of digital communications such as telephone, television, computers and wireless from one super-powerful feed. Milo wants to be a part of history, to build the technology that will change how people live a few years from now.
But just as Milo is headed for a breakthrough, he gets an offer he can't refuse. It comes from the renowned Gary Winston (TIM ROBBINS), head of the multi-billion dollar software corporation N.U.R.V. (which stands for "Never Underestimate Radical Vision"), and Milo's professional hero. The supremely rich and powerful Winston wants to recruit Milo for his top-echelon digital convergence team - and despite having to leave behind his anti-corporate best friend and business partner, Teddy, Milo feels he has no choice. The money, the resources, the opportunity Winston offers can't be had anywhere else. Even more exciting, Winston has taken a personal interest in Milo and it seems like he will finally get the chance to truly make his mark.
So Milo and his artsy girlfriend Alice (Claire Forlani) head off for the land of the superachievers, where fast thinking can make very fast money. Milo is quickly introduced to high-security, pressure-cooker atmosphere of N.U.R.V. Assigned a talented, and intellectually tempting, colleague named Lisa (RACHAEL LEIGH COOK) to assist him, Milo gets intensely caught up in the race to achieve Winston's vision. Winston inspires Milo to new levels of brilliance by refusing to let any problem go unsolved for long. But as new developments are brought to Milo with astonishing speed and accuracy, he begins to doubt their source.
Then tragedy strikes at Milo's personal life in the form of a vicious crime, and his suspicions turn to terror. Is Milo a merely a pawn in Winston's games of surveillance and intimidation? Is Winston willing to go to any extreme to win? As further hints of secret undertakings emerge, Milo begins to unearth a plot so vast and so brilliantly designed, it might be foolproof. The more Milo learns, the more he himself becomes a target. Now it is Milo whose survival is at stake, unless he can outwit the very heart of N.U.R.V., a corporate behemoth whose power, greed and paranoia know no bounds.
Antitrust stars Ryan Phillippe, Rachael Leigh Cook, Claire Forlani and Tim Robbins. Peter Howitt (Sliding Doors (1998)) directs from an original screenplay by Howard Franklin. The film was produced by Nick Wechsler, Keith Addis and David Nicksay with David Hoberman, Ashok Amritraj, C.O. Erickson and Julia Chasman as executive producers.