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Custom Enemy of the State essay paper sample

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A person may be described as such a state enemy if the said individual has been accused of committing crimes like treason. However, due to political reasons, an individual for example in an authoritarian government might be declared as a state enemy. Mostly, the pretext of doing it for the sake of the security of the nation is given. In the process, the political enemy would be treated equivalent to a person who has endangered the lives and well being of a certain country or population. Therefore should there be an agent who develops dealings with more than one country, the agent would be considered a state enemy, i.e. is not friendly to all of the entities that make up the state.

A spy-thriller movie called "enemy of the state" was produced in 1998 to try and depict this scenario in a rather twisted manner. With Tony Scott as its director, David Marconi the writer depicts National Security Agents (NSA) who is rogue. The NSA agents are involved in the murder of a Congressman due to political instigations. They later try to perform a cover up for their deeds through the destruction of evidence and also intimidating the witnesses. Some of the stars in this movie include Jon Voight, Will Smith, Gene Hackman, Regina King and Lisa Bonet. The producer f this film is Jerr Bruckheimer (Samdrala, 3).


While the Congress of the United States of America was moving to pass some new legislation to expand the powers that were given the law enforcement security agencies, the move becomes highly opposed by Phil Hammersley (Jason Robards), another congressman. Thomas Reynolds (Jon Voight) the congressman who was the major supporter for this bill decides to kill him to ensure its passage. Unfortunately, while his team was killing Phil at a certain remote park, a video camera belonging to Daniel Zavitz (Jason Lee) had captured all that had happened. Reynolds is later to become aware of the existence of this video after Daniel alerting a friend who was an underground journalist. However, before diying in a road accident while on the run, Daniel passes the cartridge containing the video to his college friend, Robert Dean Clayton (Will Smith) who was also a labor lawyer.

Soon, Dean's house is raided by the NSA on discovery that he may have been given the video. Further, false information of Dean's involvement in love affairs with his ex-girlfriend, Rachel Banks (Lisa Bonet) are created by the NSA. This causes him to lose his job and furthermore gets frozen bank accounts. Soon he is kicked out of the house by his wife but later meets with Banks who offers to arrange a meeting for him with a contact of hers who looks for information, Brill (Gabryme). He however ends up with a decoy to thrown off his trail the NSA Agents. Edward Lyle (Gene Hackman) who is portrayed as a retired former NSA helps Dean who remove to remove tracking devices.

Another supporter of the bill, Sam Albert is blackmailed by Lyle and Dean. Various secretes of the state are recorded by Dean and his new friend luring Reynolds so as to agree into a meeting. However, the NSA captures them before they could hold the meeting. Dean however makes up the story that the footage was in the hands of a mafia family called the Pinteroi. He knew beforehand that they were under Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) surveillance. In the ensured fire fight, Reylons together with several NSA agents die as the FBI comes to a discovery of the legislation plot. Lyle after escaping from the scene goes to exile in an unknown location in the tropics. He later sends to Dean a goodbye message through his television. Dean on the other hand gets back together in his marriage and is gets clearance from all criminal charges. This legislation is to fail in the long run.

Success of this movie

From a general point of view, this movie was a good movie. Upon its release in 1998, it became a must watch in many Cinemas around the world. This movie that was set in Baltimore and the Washington D.C. but mostly filmed in Baltimore first opened at number 2. By the time of its crossing 2, 393 theaters, it was bringing in approximately $8, 374 for each venue. At the end of its first weekend, it had crossed a gross of $20,038,573 (Jets, 5). This success can perhaps be attributed to some of the factors as discussed below.

Professional Critics

The first boost to its success might have been the fact that professional critics received it well. Various websites that are considered to give professional criticism like Rotten Tomatoes, metacritic and others gave a good rating (Weiss 23). Rotten Tomatoes for example presented "70% fresh "The LA Times on the other hand noted how it overcame lapses occasionally. Janet Masiln on the other hand from the New York Times, had a wonderful approval for its sequences of action. It is with such approvals and ratings that would drive those who are yet to watch this movie to go out and watch it.

Popular Actors

The other reason for its success is the use of famous actors especially wills Smith. With just the knowledge that Will Smith has played a role in this film, there was frenzy for people especially from outside the America to go and watch the film. This was just to see the good performance that they must have watched after the launch of other movies like Men In Black.

Relation to real life situation

The final reason that the success of this movie could be attributed to is how the movie relates to real life situation. Hackman, a veteran performer believes that the elements in this movie are quite realistic. These elements do make the audience to think twice about the government's red tape especially if these audiences are from the U.S. According to Hackman, the scenarios depicted in this movie can really happen. According to him, the U.S. Government in specific can really go an extra mile to extra that piece of information that it deems necessary from anyone. Thus this film depicts a possible real life situation.


Other than just the action, this movie had a twisting dram that was quite unpredictable and this was captivating to the audience. It was a good movie that deserved all the attention that it finally got. It can thus be said that the movie was a true success and it is no suprise3 that up to these days it can still be found in homes of some movie lovers.

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