Ryan Philippe is a hotshot programmer working with some friends in a garage to change the world with open-source programs. But he is tempted away by Tim Robbins, the billionaire CEO of a company that is seeking to unite all the stuff in the world into one giant program. It doesn’t take him long to find out that Tim’s methods go way beyond corporate espionage and all the way into the murder of other programmers so he can steal their code. One of the victims is his old friend and programming buddy, Teddy Chin, who was able to resist the siren call of the big company and the big salary and the fine house in Silicon Valley. Ryan finds an ingenious way to defeat the guy.
I have to admire this movie because it eschews the violent antics we are accustomed to seeing in movies like this. It is also worth pointing out that it was probably one of the first movies that really got the computer stuff right. It is now twelve years later, and nothing here looks really outmoded except for the boxy monitors. I myself am not a computer person in any way, shape, or form, and have no idea if some of the things they were talking about or the things that appear on the screens were really correct, but I can say that they felt correct and looked correct, which many of the films of 2001 did not. Getting a plausible feel to a film like this is half the battle. Possibly a real computer whiz would laugh at some of it, but I really doubt it.