The first half of Enemy of the State, in particular, is super tense, as a law-abiding lawyer played by Will Smith finds himself in the crosshairs of a sinister privacy-trampling National Security Agency (and this is before 9/11, too!).
Unfortunately, the movie version of the NSA is a little too sinister, and the ethics are cartoonishly one-sided: The opening scene sees our villain, played by Jon Voight, murdering a congressman in broad daylight. And Smith’s ability to continually evade capture begin to strain credulity around the midway point, when he tries to Spider-Man his way down the balconies and ledges of a hotel … hmm, “produced by Jerry Bruckheimer.” That adds up.
Luckily, that’s around the time we meet Gene Hackman, an embittered ex-NSA agent who turns Enemy of the State into an off-kilter buddy picture. I didn’t totally believe their relationship, but both actors individually are great, and overall, I liked a lot of what this movie had to offer.