Enemy of the State

Enemy of the State (1998)

Plot summary

(4 votes)

Robert Clayton Dean (Will Smith) is a lawyer with a wife and family whose happily normal life is turned upside down after a chance meeting with a college buddy (Jason Lee) at a lingerie shop. Unbeknownst to the lawyer, he's just been burdened with a videotape of a congressman's assassination. Hot on the tail of this tape is a ruthless group of National Security Agents commanded by a belligerently ambitious fed named Reynolds (Jon Voight). Using surveillance from satellites, bugs, and other sophisticated snooping devices, the NSA infiltrates every facet of Dean's existence, tracing each physical and digital footprint he leaves. Driven by acute paranoia, Dean enlists the help of a clandestine former NSA operative named Brill (Gene Hackman), and Enemy of the State kicks into high-intensity hyperdrive.
Teaming up once again with producer Jerry Bruckheimer, Top Gun director Tony Scott demonstrates his glossy style with clever cinematography and breakneck pacing. Will Smith proves that there's more to his success than a brash sense of humor, giving a versatile performance that plausibly illustrates a man cracking under the strain of paranoid turmoil. Hackman steals the show by essentially reprising his role from The Conversation--just imagine his memorable character Harry Caul some 20 years later. Most of all, the film's depiction of high-tech surveillance is highly convincing and dramatically compelling, making this a cautionary tale with more substance than you'd normally expect from a Scott-Bruckheimer action extravaganza.

Adrian

Revealing mistake: Near the end of the film, after the shootout, there's a shot with the camera zooming in on a newspaper at Will Smith's front door. If you pause it right once the headline fills the top of the screen, you'll notice all the paragraphs are just repeated, word for word. Additionally the word "received" is misspelled.

More mistakes in Enemy of the State

Brill: You're transmitting. Get rid of your watch.
Robert Clayton Dean: My wife gave me this watch.
Brill: Then keep it.

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More trivia for Enemy of the State

Question: What does the sequence with the fake Brill have to do with anything? I've watched this scene several times and can't find its significance in the film.

manthabeat Premium member

Chosen answer: The fake Brill is an undercover federal agent trying to find out what Will Smith knows about the video tape.

Mister Ed

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