Enemy of the State

Enemy of the State ★★★★½

There's nothing like an anti-surveillance state, conspiracy thriller to lift my mood.

Enemy of the State, which is one of the first 'grown up' films I remember seeing, should be credited with sparking my <s>paranoia</s> reasonable, logically-founded fears and concerns. An introduction to mature awareness of potential for abuse of state power. I used to fantasise about having to destroy all traces of my life, disappear, go underground, because of an errant phone call.

It's tremendous fun. Tony Scott's pacing is blistering; we're on the run and we don't know what's next.

And what a cast of characters. Jason Lee, Gabriel Byrne, Tom Sizemore do a helluva lot with just a couple of minutes each. Will Smith is appropriately clueless and skeptical. Gene Hackman carries echoes of The Conversation, and then buries them by becoming the kind of man of action that is borne of hard experience and inside knowledge. Regina King steadies the ship; the only informed and suspicious civilian.


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