Enemy Of The State

Starring: Will Smith, Gene Hackman
Directed by: Tony Scott (Crimson Tide, Top Gun)
Produced by: Jerry Bruckheimer (The Rock, Armageddon)

_____I have to admit one thing... I dragged myself (and some other reluctant souls) to the theatre mainly because I anticipated the Star Wars: Episode 1 trailer to be out in the big screen previews. Enemy of the State just happened to be there (it was either that or Rugrats), so I happily entered the theatre expecting to see all the new and exciting things George Lucas was going to bring us in his next Star Wars movie.

_____... it turned out that the best preview was some film called "8 mm" starring Nicholas Cage, and that preview flashed back and forth so much it gave me a headache... I was sort of grouchy after the movie began since I didn't have a chance to see the Star Wars trailer. But anyways, this is not a "preview" article, so let's move on with my evaluation of "Enemy of the State". I believe the movie falls into the category of action/thriller, so I'll be basing my opinions based on that fact.

_____The movie starts out with a murder of a U.S. Senator by a National Securities Agency agent by the name of Reynolds. The NSA was pushing to pass a bill through Congress that would effectively end all personal privacy. That Senator (I forgot his name) strongly opposed the Bill, and so Reynolds (Jon Voight, who played Jim Phelps from Mission: Impossible) hired a couple of hitmen that stunned the poor old fella' and ran his car into the lake.

_____What they didn't know was by that lake an environmentalist by the name of Zavitz (Jason Lee) was filming the migration of geese, and happened to catch the murder on tape! When he got to his apartment and realized he had the evidence of murder on his hands, he quickly made a copy of the tape, stuck it into some kind of GameBoy device, and ran off with the NSA agents hot on his heels to kill him. This was one of the best chase scenes in the movie, with Zavitz scrambling from ceiling to ceiling, yet unable to shake off the hitmen because they are backed by techno-geeks that are tracking Zavitz with high-tech satellite. Eventually he runs into a D.C. lawyer by the name of Robert Dean (Will Smith) in a lingerie store (I know you've all seen the trailer where he's awkwardly asking a sexy sales lady about underwear for his wife). Dean, recognizing Zavitz as an old college classmate, tries to make conversation, but the only thing Zavitz did was drop his tape into Dean's shopping bag. Everything rolls downhill from there, as Zavitz runs out the store and into a rumbling fire truck and gets smashed into itty bitty pieces.

_____So now, all the NSA agents along with their funky-haired, colored glasses, techno-geeks are all after Robert Dean, and he doesn't even know it! Throughout the movie he's bewildered at why he's lost his bank account, his house, and his life in general. Then he runs into a former NSA agent by the name of Brill (Gene Hackman). They've worked together in the past via 3rd person, but never face-to-face, and after a few welcome scuffles, they begin to work together in earnest to trying to untangle the mess that has been caused.

_____All in all, this movie offers some slick directing, and two awesome chase scenes; One with Zavitz on the rooftop and the other with Dean running in underwear and a robe through a downtown traffic tunnel. It was sorely lacking in the "overall" feel, though, and I attribute some of that to the script writing. Some parts of the movie flowed like the Nile river, but in other parts it got dreadfully ho-hum. However, I really loved the parts when the satellite would zoom in on a moving target from outerspace, and it created such a paranoid atmosphere that "Big Brother" is watching you.

_____In addition, Will Smith and Gene Hackman churned out some pretty good acting as usual. The supporting cast of techno-geeks operating ferocious ops and high-tech gizmo gave the movie a nice edge. The verdict? I'd go watch it if you're a hard-core computer tekkie and loves paranoia in action films, because it really impressed me in those departments. Beware... they are watching... !!

Overall Rating: B-
Pro's: Some good chase scenes, impressive show-off of technology...
Con's: Choppy plot, tiresome development to climax...