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Friday, November 20, 1998
Houston, Texas
Volume 64, Issue 64

Manson's Freak Show

Make Way for the Waterboy and a Belly Flop

About the Cougar

Enemy of the State an adventurous, action-packed flick with a solid cast

Enemy of the State

Rating: ****
Starring: Will Smith, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight
MPAA Rating: R
Running Time: 127 min.

Now playing in theaters everywhere

By Rattaya Nimibutr
Daily Cougar Staff

If you want to know exactly how far modern technology can go, or see the case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time played out, the new action-packed thriller Enemy of the State, starring Will Smith and Gene Hackman, brilliantly explores these two scenarios cleverly in -- well, in a damn good flick.

First, we see an official from the National Security Agency, Thomas Reynolds (Jon Voight), in a perfect hush-hush crime. A student named Zavitz (Jason Lee), who happens to be videotaping nearby, accidentally catches the murder on tape, and the whole chase begins.

Zavitz then drops the copy of the tape into lawyer Robert Dean's bag without his knowing, and the focus of the chase turns entirely to him. Fast-paced chases, a series of breathtaking incidents, power-driven cases and adrenaline-filled humor highlight this energy-charged movie.

Will Smith plays Dean, your typical rookie lawyer on an important case, when he becomes tangled in this whole mess of a conspiracy and his whole life is turned upside-down.

Reynolds, the NSA official, learns everything about Dean: his accounts, his past and anything the wires can get hold of. This is the point when you sit there with your mouth open in the theater, fascinated by how quickly and how information can be drawn on Dean.

Directed by Tony Scott (The Fan), Enemy of the State takes you on a nonstop joyride of thrills as the operatives attempt to track Dean, as Dean all the while tries to figure out what it is they want from him.

Gene Hackman (Absolute Power) brilliantly portrays Brill, whose presence gets the conspiracy even more intelligently intertwined.

Smith doesn't stray too far from the roles he typically portrays in Enemy of the State, and fortunately, he performs those roles well. Ever since the success of Bad Boys, hero status seems to be his priority, and being chased and involving himself in thrilling adventures seems to be his forte. But this time, rather then battling aliens, Smith duels with the government.

Then there's the rest of the cast, which turns out to be decent. Lisa Bonet, Gabriel Bryne, Regina King, Jack Black, Jamie Kennedy and many more rising stars make this movie one hell of a ride.

With a solid cast and an unbeatable storyline, not to mention a smartly written script, Enemy of the State will definitely be a satisfactory offer for those who enjoy action films or just need a quick rush of something flashy and quick-paced.

Reach Nimibutr at

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