It was a disappointing day on many levels. First I show up to the theater and pay $2.75 for a single slice of pizza. I take it into the theater and didn’t see the Star Wars: The Phantom Menace preview that I wanted to see. After that, I watch the disappointing movie Enemy of the State Enemy of the State stars Will Smith as Robert Dean, an attorney who is handed a video tape by an old friend running for his life, who just happened to come across Smith in a lingerie store. The problem? It shows an NSA agent killing a congressman. The mastermind behind that murder and others to come is agent Reynolds (Jon Voight). The NSA has Dean’s life under 24-hour surveillance. They have bugs in his pants, his cell phone, his pen, (is this beginning to sound familiar?) Dean’s only chance of survival is a man named Brill, an acquaintance he used for some of his cases. Gene Hackman plays Brill, and his character is the guy who is just so darn convenient to have around in the time of crisis.
The movie is a Jerry Bruckheimer movie and I really do like his movies. I thought The Rock was the best action movie ever made. But this sort of “ooh, the governments out to get me!” stuff has been done before. Think The Arrival without the aliens or original concept. It’s not horrible, but I can’t tell you how many times I hear someone shout “GO! GO! GO!” during the 128 minute running time. Enemy of the State is the kind of movie where you check your watch every 10 minutes. Will Smith’s talents are also wasted here because he doesn’t’ have many jokes like he did in Independence Day, Men in Black or Bad Boys (also produced by Bruckheimer). I wish they could have done more with this movie.
Review by Matt Lawrence © 1998 filmcritic.com