Enemy of the State
By Mike Derderian
Good guys wear black while bad guys wear beards, a reversed sick ideology springing from the modern post-globalization movement that is taking place as part of a better world for everyone; you’re either with us or against us. We may speak softly but we carry a big stick—or was it a shtick?
*I’m living in a world governed by silence yet still falls the rain covering, blemishing and obliterating the traces of innocent blood shed not for our sake but for the sake of greedy fat liars sitting in the comfort of their chairs across the holy river and the Atlantic ocean.
Recently, more acts of assassinations of Palestinian leaders took place, not only reflecting sheer cowardice—launching missiles from the comfort of an apache cockpit with a push of a button to hit a human target—but also alluding to how cheap the life of a man has become. With the current market prices, I believe it is below zero.
Come in alpha-tango, target is in vision—a wheeled chaired man, paralyzed from the neck down, and a few weeks later his successor—request permission to fire? Permission granted on the grounds that both targets at hand are enemies of the state.
I believe its time for me to stop here before I become an enemy of the state for you all know the rest of this never-ending story that will never end until someone probably called Taylor finds himself in a planet full of apes shouting in anger and agony, “you maniacs, you blew it up. Damn you, God damn you all to hell.”
The 1998 Enemy of the State, directed by Tony Scott, is a high quality action fleck about the art of espionage and the ever-popular ‘conspiracy theory’, which in this film arguably exists in the form of a wide surveillance net spying on citizens spread across all the US—using satellites, phone taps and state of the art gadgets.
Everything in this film starting from the opening shot to the action scenes, dialogue and plot is technology orientated, and it all adds up with a star cast trio that includes Will Smith, Gene Hackman and Jon Voight, in addition to good supporting actors like Lisa Bonet, Gabriel Byrn, Stuart Wilson, Jason Lee, Tom Sizomore and Regina King.
With a straight to the point plot, the opening scene is of a political murder cover-up by the National Security Agency NSA headed by Thomas Brian Reynolds (Voight) with his team of Surveillance and assassin operatives—but shortly afterwards, the film picks up pace.
The murder was accidentally recorded by nature observer Daniel Leon Zavitz (Lee)—later killed during a chase by NSA operatives, which will trigger a chain reaction that will affect the life of Robert Clayton Dean (Smith), an attorney, whom was given the incriminating tape after bumping into Zavitz during the chase, without his knowledge.
What was a normal life will soon turn into a life of paranoia—not knowing if the privacy of your home is violated or not, with a conspiracy to discredit your own words using planted evidence—and Smith is given no choice but to seek the help of a Brill (Hackman), a man he never met.
Contacting Brill through the help Rachel F. Banks (Bonet), a woman he had an affair with in the past, will only complicate matters, especially with his motor-mouth wife Carla (King), not to mention providing the NSA with material to discredit what Dean knows.
With Smith and Hackman as the dynamic duo for this film, the former’s sense of humor and the latter’s seriousness creates an on screen chemistry found in most of the film’s enjoyable sequences, especially when they’re being chased by the NSA from Brill’s hideout.
During this scene and after the explosion of the hideout, an amazed dean asks, “What the hell is happening?” When Brill answers, “I blew up the building.” “Why?” Brill angrily asks. “Because you made a phone call.”
From the very first moment, the film will place you on the rooftops of skyscrapers, into daring car chases and high tech well-created visual images of Dean and Brill gateways via espionage satellites. This is one film you won’t regret watching.
All these elements with a well-intact script filled with high-tech terminologies and funny wise dialogues will only lead to a farfetched ending that will definitely shock you into amazement. Knowing that there is always room for an Italian mob that wants piece of the wrong action “Enemy of the State,” Dean answers Brill’s question, “You are either stupid or very clever.” With all the things that are happening in our lives, like killings, explosions and the crumbling of ancient civilizations, I’ll leave that for you to decide.
*Inspired by Edith Sitwell’s Poem “Still Falls The Rain: The raids, 1940. Night And Down.”