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Enemy of the State VHS DVD

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Bruce and Christy rented it.  This was one of those Hollywierd movies that had a high potential for verisimilitude meltdown.  Scoo said it wasn't as bad as it could have been.  Andy said it uses many spy ideas from the movie The Conversation that Gene Hackman starred in.

This movie feeds on conspiracy theory ideas.  A senator is killed at the beginning of the movie and the murder is caught on tape by pure chance.  The bad guys, high in the NSA, learn about the tape and try to get it.   It ends up in Will Smith's possesion without him even knowing it.  The bad guys figure that out and when they can't find the video in his house they set out to ruin his life.

Most of the high tech spy stuff is just silly.

The big example that Scoo brought up was the spy satellites.  They make heavy use of them.  In the movie, they always have one in a convenient position.  They can re-task them in seconds and can recognize individuals and track them in real time.  In fact, the satelites are better at tracking people then a nearby helicopter.  Uh, yeah.  Right.

Near the end, the satelites apparently have enough resolution to watch very wide angle and then during subsequent playback of the recording to zoom in with enough resolution to recognize a car.

Let's see, what else do they do.  They resurrect the idea that the NSA monitors all phone calls have voice recognition software that listens for particular words and phrases.  At one point, Hackman is wearing a wire and Smith is taping.  Somehow, they're able to track down where the signal is going, even though Smith never transmits.   At a couple of points they show they have current plans to a random building and can track someone wearing a transmitter through the building.  Basically, a bunch of silly eye candy.

Despite all of that, the movie was generally fun.  They have a couple of interesting plot twists, and they hide a few bits of information until late in the movie.   The actions of the secondary characters are generally believable.  The movie manages to rise above the high-tech silliness.

On my brother's Total Movie Value Scale, Rental with Popcorn.

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Last modified: June 14, 2004
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