Azara Blog: Enemy of the State

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Date published: 2005/01/16

Enemy of the State (1998, director Tony Scott) is an amazing film of the paranoia genre. Will Smith is a lawyer who accidentally and unknowingly receives a tape which shows a rogue team (led by Jon Voight) inside the National Security Agency (NSA) killing a "too liberal" Republican congressman. For the rest of the film the NSA is after him and also Gene Hackman (an ex-NSA operative). Some of the details are silly in the usual Hollywood fashion (unbelievable image processing, competence by the bad guys, ridiculous ending, etc.), but the basic premise is believable and relevant in the post-9/11 climate: the government can and will track you if they want to (but hopefully not yet in the real time shown in the film). It's hard to imagine such a film being made now.

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