Enemy of the State (1998)

Would this actually be happening in real life? Just putting it out there.

Hotshot Washington lawyer Robert Dean (Will Smith) becomes a victim of high-tech identity theft when a hacker slips an incriminating video into his pocket. Soon, a rogue National Security agent (Jon Voight) sets out to recover the tape — and destroy Dean.

If you love Tony Scott films that are just break-neck thrillers with no actual story, then this is a keeper. But if your like many others that think their mindless then this is not for you.

The one great thing about this film that actually helps it out is its crazy action. The scenes are filmed in such a rowdy but controlled way that everything that’s going on is fun and hectic but your actually understanding what is happening, which makes it more exciting.

I liked many of the high-tech stuff that was actually involved with its story and how it all seems believable. The atmosphere is created because he can’t escape the government and while watching it, you have a feeling you can’t either. Having a lot of these sateleitte dishes and cameras used made all the action, and the story a lot more interesting in how it all panned out.

The problem with the film is that its script is not very top-notch. There were plenty of times where the film could have really struck a nice cord with its talk, but doesn’t quite hit the mark with its scenes. Also, many of parts in this film were basically lifted scenes from The Conversation, also with Gene Hackman. I have only seen a little bit of that film I could already tell that the film had some big similarities to Enemy of the State.

The one saving grace as you would expect, is Will Smith. At times, he is so funny and cocky that its so easy to root for him, and to hope he comes out on top. The supporters who play the government do real well at what they do mostly comedians like Seth Green, Jack Black, and Jamie Kennedy, who all seem a bit miscast, but actually have some pretty good lines, even though we should hate them.

Consensus: Enemy of the State lacks in originality and a good script, but features a lot fun and exciting action, mostly lead by a charismatic performance from Smith.



  1. A pretty entertaining movie. I remember when I watched this for the first time (when I was little) and didn’t realize that the government had that kind of ability to look over people.

  2. yeah, its a pretty good ride – Hackman is great as always. looks a bit dated already with all those fast cuts though. still, not as dull as The Conversation

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