[box cover]

Enemy of the State

Washington D.C.-based attorney Robert Dean (Will Smith) enjoys a lucrative practice, and has a nice suburban home with his wife, his son, and the family dog. But his world is soon shattered when he unwittingly receives incriminating evidence of a U.S. Congressman's murder from an old friend, causing rogue elements of the National Security Agency to launch a high-tech manhunt for the lawyer while destroying his marriage and professional reputation in the process. This collaboration from Jerry Bruckheimer and Tony Scott (Top Gun, Crimson Tide) is a perfect popcorn movie, featuring a plot that has too many holes and loose ends but a pace so rapid that you don't notice it or care. Smith's undeniable screen charisma carries much of the film, but everything goes into overdrive when Gene Hackman shows up in the second half of the movie as a cranky former NSA operative who might be able to save Will's confused, scared ass. The Hitchcockian hallmarks of the wrongly accused man and the double-pursuit are used to their full potential, but don't let all that Hitch fool you — Scott lifts at least two scenes from Francis Ford Coppola's 1974 The Conversation (also starring Gene Hackman, as professional eavesdropper Harry Caul), a photo of Hackman directly from the film, and even has Hackman wear the same glasses Caul wore nearly 25 years earlier. Do it once and it's a rip-off — do it often, it's homage. The great cast includes Jon Voight, Lisa Bonet, Regina King, Tom Sizemore, Loren Dean, Jake Busey, Gabriel Byrne, and Seth Green, while Philip Baker Hall and Jason Robards give uncredited appearances. Good transfer, DD 5.1, featurette, trailer.
—JJB



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