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ENEMY OF THE STATE: DVD

SYNOPSIS:
Washington lawyer Robert Dean (Will Smith) accidentally comes into possession of a videotape containing the murder of a US congressman. Unaware at first that he has the tape, Dean finds his life in danger as Reynolds (Jon Voight), the government agent who ordered the killing, attempts to retrieve the evidence. Dean's only hope is Brill (Gene Hackman), a former government spy who went underground in 1980 and operates on the fringes of the intelligence community.


Review by Richard Kuipers:
Enemy of the State was always a neatly constructed thriller - in the post September 11 world it's taken on extra bite. Tony Scott's slickly mounted exercise about national security and government sanctioned surveillance offers a scenario that seems even more plausible now than it did at the time.

If it weren't for the over-use of throwaway one-liners - no doubt included to accommodate Smith's comic leanings - this might have reached the heights of its obvious inspiration - Francis Coppola's The Conversation (1974). Still, this is juicy stuff with Smith convincing as the lawyer who doesn't know he holds the key to a massive cover-up and Hackman even better in a role linked to the surveillance expert he played in Coppola's film.

The question here is about how far governments in the so-called free world should be allowed to eavesdrop on their own people. As everyone sits glued to reality TV is it the act itself that worries us or the possibility that the functionaries in charge (the Voight character) will abuse their power?

The potent topic is given a solid workout by Scott whose visual compositions (like him or not, he knows how to use the camera) are displayed in the excellent wide-screen transfer. Shame there's no commentary track and only a couple of small selection of deleted scenes - this is a film worthy of deeper exploration. I also liked seeing Lisa Bonet on screen again as Smith's ex-girlfriend. She's had far too few major roles since her amazing performance in Angel Heart way back in 1987. This is a lively outing with something to think about and plenty to look at as every communications device imaginable is used to track Smith down. Worth a rental at least.

Published July 25, 2002

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REVIEWS

ENEMY OF THE STATE: DVD (M)
(US)

CAST: Will Smith, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight, Lisa Bonet

DIRECTOR: Tony Scott

RUNNING TIME: 127 minutes

SPECIAL FEATURES: Deleted Scenes, Making of Featurettes. Languages: English, Spanish. Subtitles: English, English (H.O.H), Spanish, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Buena Vista Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: May 8, 2002







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