Enemy of the State is a 1998 American action thriller film directed by Tony Scott and produced by Jerry Bruckheimer. The screenplay was written by David Marconi.
Rated: R (movie contains language and violence)
Run Time: 2h 12min
Release Date: November 20, 1998 (USA)
Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller, Spy, Conspiracy, Mystery
Director: Tony Scott
Studio: Buena Vista Pictures
Budget: $90 Million
Box Office: $250.6 Million
Enemy of the State stars Will Smith, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight, Regina King, Stuart Wilson, Laura Cayouette, Loren Dean, Barry Pepper, Ian Hart, Jake Busey, Scott Caan, Jason Lee, Gabriel Byrne, Jack Black, Jamie Kennedy, Seth Green, Philip Baker Hall, Tom Sizemore, Ivana Milicevic and Jason Robards.
Enemy of the State follows Robert Clayton Dean (Will Smith), a labor lawyer and dedicated family man who ends up in the wrong place at the wrong time. While Christmas shopping for his wife, Dean runs into Daniel Zavits (Jason Lee), an old friend from college who seems very upset and out of breath. Zavits then runs out the back of the store and is killed minutes later by an oncoming truck in front of Dean.
Meanwhile, the news is broadcasting coverage of the recent death of U.S. Congressman, Phillip Hammersley (Jason Robards), who is believed to have had a heart attack while driving and accidentally drove his car into a lake. However, before being discovered in the lake, Hammersley was in a heated discussion with National Security Agency (NSA) official Thomas Reynolds (Jon Voight) about his vote on an upcoming piece of surveillance legislation in which Hammersley was planning to vote no which would kill the bill. To assure the passage of the proposed legislation, Reynolds had the congressman assassinated with a lethal injection in his neck and his goons then placed him in his car and released the car into the lake.
Unbeknownst to Reynolds, Daniel Zavitz was working on a study to determine the migratory pattern of Canada geese and had a camera set up at the lake to videotape their behavior. While reviewing footage of geese, Zavitz discovers he had caught the entire murder on tape and would be able to identify the parties involved. He calls a friend at a newspaper to set up an exchange of the tape and then there is a knock at his door. Fearing for his life at that point, he climbs out of his fire escape and begins running which is where he ran into Dean shopping. In their exchange, Dean unknowingly receiving the videotape when Zavitz placed it into his shopping bag before fleeing the store.
Congressman Hammersley has been very vocal against upcoming new surveillance legislation and the evidence of the murder now resided with Dean. The NSA had been following Zavitz and tied the two together and started surveillance on Dean and his family. Dean’s life began to fall apart all around him and soon he loses his job and his wife from rumors of an affair with an ex-girlfriend named Rachel Banks (Lisa Bonet). The NSA turns their attention to her and she ends up getting killed and it is made to look like Dean had committed the murder. With the help of ex-intelligence agent Edward ‘Brill’ Lyle (Gene Hackman), Dean attempts to throw Reynolds off his trail and prove his innocence. Can Robert Dean get his life back?
“The government’s been in bed with the entire telecommunications industry since the forties. They’ve infected everything. They get into your bank statements, computer files, email, listen to your phone calls… Every wire, every air-wave. The more technology used, the easier it is for them to keep tabs on you. It’s a brave new world out there. At least it better be.” – Brill
“Telecommunications Security and Privacy Act. Invasion of privacy is more like it. You read the Post? This bill is not the first step toward the surveillance society. It is the surveillance society.” – Congressman Phillip Hammersley
“In guerrilla warfare, you try to use your weaknesses as strengths… if they’re big and you’re small, then you’re mobile and they’re slow. You’re hidden and they’re exposed. You only fight battles you know you can win. That’s the way the Vietcong did it. You capture their weapons and you use them against them the next time.” – Brill
“Hammersley was professionally wasted under the direction of some anal-retentive with what looks like a serious vitamin D deficiency.” – Daniel Zavitz
Official Movie Trailer
Will Smith as Robert Clayton Dean
Gene Hackman as Edward ‘Brill’ Lyle
Jon Voight as Thomas Brian Reynolds
Lisa Bonet as Rachel F. Banks
Regina King as Carla Dean
Stuart Wilson as Congressman Sam Albert
Laura Cayouette as Crista Hawkins
Loren Dean as Hicks
Barry Pepper as David Pratt
Ian Hart as Bingham
Jake Busey as Krug
Scott Caan as Jones
Jason Lee as Daniel Zavitz
Gabriel Byrne as Brill
Jack Black as Fiedler
Jamie Kennedy as Jamie
Seth Green as Selby
Jason Robards as Congressman Phillip Hammersley
Philip Baker Hall as Attorney Mark Silverberg
Tom Sizemore as Boss Paulie Pintero
Ivana Milicevic as Lingerie Store Salesperson