Watch Enemy of the State
- 2 hr 11 min
The 1998 action thriller 'Enemy of the State' is directed by Tony Scott and stars Will Smith, Gene Hackman, and Jon Voight in the lead roles. The film revolves around a high-level conspiracy involving a powerful National Security Agency (NSA) official and an innocent lawyer who is mistakenly identified as a terrorist. The movie begins with the tragic death of Congressman Phil Hammersley, a vocal opponent of a surveillance bill that would allow the government to override the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. Unbeknownst to Hammersley, his papers contain sensitive information about the controversial bill, which is also fiercely opposed by the NSA.
Enter Robert Clayton Dean (Will Smith), a happy-go-lucky labor lawyer who, while shopping for a last-minute present for his wife, accidentally bumps into Hammersley in a public restroom, thus gaining possession of the aforementioned papers. No sooner does his life take a dramatic turn when he is hounded by a team of NSA agents, led by the icy and calculating Agent Reynolds (Jon Voight), who will stop at nothing to track him down.
What follows is a thrilling game of cat and mouse, as Dean finds himself on the run, pursued relentlessly by the NSA's cutting-edge surveillance capabilities. As the stakes get higher and higher, he finds an ally in the form of the enigmatic Brill (Gene Hackman), a former NSA analyst turned rogue, who is well-versed in the art of evading detection. Together, they try to piece together the puzzle, while dodging the powerful forces that are hot on their trail.
The movie manages to create a sense of paranoia and unease, as it explores the theme of government surveillance and the potential dangers of technology. The plot is carefully crafted, with twists and turns that keep the audience on the edge of their seats, while the tension is further heightened by the fantastic performances of the lead actors. Will Smith is convincing in his role as the hapless victim who gradually discovers the vast extent of the conspiracy, while Gene Hackman is magnetic as the jaded ex-analyst, who has seen too much.
The movie also explores the power dynamics between the government and the common man, as Dean finds himself at the mercy of a monstrous system that has the capacity to crush him. The omnipotence of the NSA is evinced by the high-tech surveillance technology on display, from satellites to thermal imaging cameras, and the movie effectively conveys the feeling of being constantly watched.
The action sequences are well-executed, with the climactic chase scene being a standout, as Dean's every move is manipulated by his pursuers. The movie also incorporates elements of humor, courtesy of Brill's wry one-liners and the odd meta-joke, which provide a welcome respite from the tension. Furthermore, the relationship between Dean and his wife, played by Regina King, adds an emotional dimension to the proceedings.
All in all, 'Enemy of the State' is a well-crafted thriller that manages to blend action, suspense, and social commentary in a satisfying whole. The prescience of its themes and the relevance of its message make it a movie that is as relevant today as it was in 1998. The film is a testament to the power of cinema to reflect and critique our society, and to entertain us at the same time. A must-watch for all lovers of the genre.
Enemy of the State is a 1989 action movie with a runtime of 2 hours and 11 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.3 and a MetaScore of 67.