Enemy of the
This is a movie that had the makings of a very good thriller.
It had a good trailer, so I was pretty stoked. With Tony Scott movies,
you expect a certain amount of ridiculous bravado, but Enemy… was
allstyle and no brain.
Let's start with
just one minor nitpicky thing. There is a scene early on where Will
Smith is in a lingerie shop in Georgetown. Now, never mind that there
is no shop quite like that in Georgetown... there isn't one quite like
it anywhere. Don't get me wrong; I have no problems with women walking
around in their underwear. On the contrary, it should be mandated in
some counties. But the problem is a scene like this takes credibility
and chucks it out the window. But okay, let's just say that there is
a shop like that. You think it would be possible to break into the back?
No way in hell. That place would be like Fort Knox. No Jason Lee Surfer
Loser is going to be able to quickly duck into this manner of store
from the alley. Not in real life. Not in a movie worth a damn. Sorry.
Okay, now on to some real issues...
First of all, the
film needs to decide how seriously it wants to be taken. I was under
the impression that it wanted to be a badass, realistic, paranoid thriller.
If that is the case, then you need to bring an intelligence to the whole
project. You can't have a lot of coincidences and silly things like
models in their panties simply there to set up a lame joke and show
some skin to the teen crowd this is aimed at rather than the adult audience
we are pretending to address.
Will Smith's character needs to be more of an everyman,
and not his same alien-ass-whipping dude from Independence Day.
I know Will is good at it, but he's an actor, right? Somehow I don't see
him playing Muhammad Ali and saying things like "Oh, no. no, you are NOT
shootin' that green shit at me!". Will Smith did a great job playing Will
Smith. But I never believed for a minute that he was worried about his
life. Let's at least put some sweat on his brow.
Gene Hackman plays
this old government spook from like the 1950's who has been hiding from
the government all these years. But wait a minute... if he was such
a genius at eluding the Man, would he be wearing the same lame horn
rimmed glasses this whole time? Are you kidding? Hello? I submit that
a mastermind such as he would have a brilliant disguise. A fantastic
wig... a beard... a complete makeover. Not the same retro clothing he
has on in the Wanted Photos. Give us a break. This is a guy that is
supposed to be smarter than the government stooges that have been after
him for decades... but he gets busted on a Convenience Store Camera?
How the hell did he elude them for so long? Coma? If the older, wiser
character is supposed to be paranoid and crafty, then give him some
credit. Hackman's 1955 photos should have looked like Frank Whaley,
so that we can be amazed at how much he changed his own physical appearance.
Better yet, they should have looked like Will Smith (okay, maybe not
Why did the writer
decide that Will Smith's character had to know Jason Lee's character?
It didn't bear on the plot at all... and Will sure didn't seem too broken
up about watching his old buddy get run down. It would make more sense
to just have this stranger (who somehow broke into Victoria's Not-So-Secret)
accost him long enough to plant the super evidence. Will wonders what
this dude's deal is, but he's capped before he gets a chance. I don't
know about you, but if I saw someone I hadn't seen in years get killed
before my very eyes, I would feel more than a little strange. Things
like this compel you to find out what he was up to these last years...
how is his family? Where are my other friends I lost track of... you
know, Big Chill stuff. Not in THIS movie. It was like Will saw
a bird crap on a car. Interesting, but hardly noteworthy.
Finally, if we're
supposed to be worried about the bad guys, then they should seem threatening.
What about Jack Black? What the hell is that guy doing playing an NSA
agent? Was Tony Scott so bowled over by his performance as the lame
weapons genius from The Jackal? Having worked for the government,
I know that they would not hire Jack Black in the NSA. No no no. If
they did: haircut. Jack Black is good in roles like the one he played
in High Fidelity; a goofy guy with no responsibilities. I just
don't buy him as the government computer expert. I would be more worried
about getting farted on by Jack Black than having him hunt me down with
his mad computer skills. Jon Voight, on the other hand is scary looking
and menacing by nature, but give him some intelligent dialogue. Make
us fear for the good guys.
The whole movie
was mediocre from the get-go. Next time, start with the script and not
with the cool freeze-pivot special effect.