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Imagine that your romantic partner is a criminal blackmailed into controlling you by a Steve Jobs-like computer genius trying to recruit you. Imagine that this so-called computer genius is a murderer and thief who tracks your every move and keeps every computer programmer under illegal surveillance. Imagine that your only ally in this toxic work environment is herself a mole sent to spy on you as you attempt to expose the crimes and cover-ups of your boss. Programmer Milo Hoffman (Ryan Phillippe) didn’t have to imagine any of this, he lived it.

The plot roughly described above is the story that Antitrust (2001) tells. In the wake of the Y2K panic a thriller about corporate corruption, monopolies and murder at a software development company seemed appropriate. Antitrust was poised to exploit the world’s fears of a global computer collapse and of anarchy the world over. Instead Antitrust plays out like a made for television version of Tomorrow Never Dies (1997) without the high camp or death defying stunts. Gary Winston (Tim Robbins) is a Bond villain through and through as he munches on Pringles and indulges in coding metaphors. Alice and Lisa (Claire Forlani and Rachael Leigh Cook) are the duplicitous Bond girls the pepper the adventure with red herrings and distract the heroic Milo with kindness and home cooked meals rather than swimsuits or martinis. Antitrust is a Bond movie that has been defanged and it is better for it.

Antitrust is a film of grandiose ideas, over the top plot twists, and absurdly improbable conceits. The fact that this rather impressive cast takes the whole affair seriously is what makes Antitrust so unintentionally hilarious and a lot of fun. Antitrust isn’t as hip or ironic as the cult classic Hackers (1995), opting instead for the sincerity of an after school special. Antitrust is probably the most un-cool, un-engaging film about computer geeks ever churned out by a major studio. But it is this unique brand of stupidity and unawareness that makes Antitrust fun.

And, despite popular belief, there’s nothing wrong with a badly made movie. The phrase “so bad, it’s good” means nothing. To enjoy Antitrust because of its singular shortcomings and harebrained ideas is to find something that is subjectively “good” about the film going experience. A film like Antitrust or Plan 9 From Outer Space (1959) is not a good film on a technical level but manages to achieve a certain value and greatness in how the film engages or interfaces with an audience. We as individual movie goers determine what is good to some extent. All Antitrust has in terms of value are the laughs its bonkers plot and determined performances solicit from viewers which is more than enough.