The last time Jerry Bruckheimer and Will Smith teamed up for a movie, the result was "Bad Boys." Now the two have paired up again to make "Enemy of the State," a film that I found entertaining despite the far-fetched plot. Written by David Marconi and directed by Tony Scott, this movie has a hyperactive, frantic feel to it.
"Enemy of the State" features good acting. Yet there are some scenes that contain no dialogue, where the characters seem like simple action figures. But what else would you expect from an action movie?
Will Smith ("Men in Black," "Independence Day") plays Robert Dean, a labor lawyer who unknowingly comes into possession of a secret videotape. Jon Voight plays Reynolds, a member of the National Security Agency who wants the video back, because it implicates him in the murder of a U.S. senator. Jason Robards plays the unfortunate senator who refused to sign a new bill. The proposed law would allow the government to monitor anyone at any time. So the NSA hopes to cover up the crime by watching, hunting and eventually killing poor Robert Dean.
This entire manhunt seems far-fetched. First of all, there are about 15 men watching Dean 24 hours a day. How do they do this, you ask? They have secretly placed tiny cameras in his home, car and workplace. They also follow him with microphones and watch him with satellites from miles above the planet. This movie seems like "The Truman Show" on steroids and the Army of Evil Computer Dorks (NSA) also seems too powerful. To me, it's not very believable that Robert Dean could triumph at all.
This disbelief, however, is suspended by some great supporting performances. Gene Hackman plays Edward Lyle, a former NSA worker who tries to help Dean. Barry Pepper and Tom Sizemore (both from "Saving Private Ryan") play a henchman and mobster respectively. Though these actors have to deal with some weak dialogue and bad jokes in the script, I don't think they mind contributing to a star-studded film with an interesting premise.
All in all, I liked "Enemy of the State." Those who love Jerry Bruckheimer's patented, explosive action scenes may be disappointed, though. This film, unlike "The Rock" and "Con Air," deals with high-tech surveillance rather than machine guns and grenades. The movie is directed well and the ending is cleverly done and original. If you want to suspend disbelief for about two hours, "Enemy of the State" definitely will entertain you.
Tom Grabon is a junior at East Aurora High School.