Sep 2, 2012

Enemy of the State, 1998

Enemy of the State, 1998
Director: Tony Scott
Cast: Will Smith, Lisa Bonet, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight, Gabriel Bryne

Stage: Home TV selection, late Sunday night

Enemy in short: Robert Dean is a mild-mannered lawyer who works in Washington D.C. He is on the trail of a kingpin named Pintero. Meanwhile, a politician named Thomas Reynolds is negotiating with Congressman Phillip Hammersley about a new surveillance system with satellites. But, Hammersley declines, that is when Reynolds had Hammersley killed, but this murder was caught on tape, and this person was being chased by Reynolds' team of NSA agents, the guy must ditch the tape, so he plants it on Dean (unbeknownst to Dean). Then, the NSA decides to get into Dean's life. That is when Dean's life began to fall apart all around him, with his wife and job both gone. Dean wants to find out what is going on. Then, he meets a man named "Brill" who tells him that Dean has something that the government wants. That is when Dean and Brill formulate a plan to get Dean's life back and turn the Tables on Reynolds. 

Preps: Seen this already, however a loooong time ago. Still, seeing Will Smith normally is a good decision on any point of the day or week. 

Reality: The subject now is the lawyer, being haunted by different parties. It is a good hop into the history, taken that in that time they didn't have decent mobile phones, following devices, etc. However, I would assume it is the best there was in stock in 1998. Therefore, for that time, the movie is a really upgraded one, with the latest tech breaches.

Will Smith is brilliant in the victim's role. I adore watching him playing a smart ass. Still he has a strong, yet fragile figure, trying to avoid the villains and solve the puzzle. The side story with his wife is just a trigger, making this more exciting and the viewer curious what is going to happen.
The cast in complete is a good one. Finding Bonet Lisa is somehow surprising, because we were used of her from Cosby Show. But the others are natural born action actors, we are used seeing them in some kind of conspiracy type of movies.

All in all, good action, good representation of what could happen to every person if someone high enough should want to frame someone. The government and democracy don't work in these cases and you are left to your own surviving skills. At the end it's the higher bidder for your life, in terms of money, that will do the trick. I would see this piece as the pre-inspiration for many action thriller movies that followed, like MI2, Matrix.
The point would be that we aren't important enough to count if someone from state wants us dead. Noone will hear our voice, noone will help us. The other point would be what kind of society are we turning ourselves into - being wired, followed, giving our information out for free and open so everyone can follow. I would see this piece as some kind of prophecy. Although I remember when I saw this piece at the movies in 1998, I thought it was a bit of a science fiction. Noone should have this kind of power. This is a good movie for a good action fright.

My personal rating: 7,0 (solid action piece, filled with anger, and also some funny parts that make you think about Will Smith back when he was at his uncle on Bel Air).

Enemy of the State on IMDB

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