Enemy of the State (1998)

reviewed by
Tim Voon


                        ENEMY OF THE STATE 1998
                      A film review by Timothy Voon
                      Copyright 1999 Timothy Voon
                     3 out of 5 for big bad brother

Cast: Will Smith, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight, Regina King, Loren Dean, Jake Busey, Barry Pepper, Tom Sizemore, Lisa Bonet, Gabriel Byrne. Screenplay: David Marconi. Director: Tony Scott.

For a movie that was initially intended for Tom Cruise, it hasn't turned out half bad with Will Smith instead. Will isn't the likely candidate for any form of conspiracy campaign, but does well toning down his usual smugness, for a serious dramatisation of a lawyer being hunted down by the state. The ENEMY OF THE STATE is a good thriller, although reliant on the mere chance occurrence of several missing videotapes in order for the ending to work out so finely. Despite this over-contriving of the plot to bring about the conclusion, there is little else to complain about. The viewer senses the terror of being continuously watched, chased, monitored by video cameras, bugging devices, state-of-the-art satellites - all pitted against an innocent man who stumbles across a conspiracy by accident. This sort of the movie works on one's paranoia, and will no doubt fuel public opinion against government intrusions on privacy. One doesn't sleep easy knowing how easy it is for every part of your life to become open to the eyes of the world. This movie fares much better than THE NET which follows a similar premise.

                              Timothy Voon
                    e-mail: stirling@netlink.com.au
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