Enemy of the State Reviews
As a U.S. senator moves to pass new legislation that dramatically expands the surveillance powers of law enforcement agencies, Congressman Phil Hammersley (Jason Robards, uncredited) remains firmly opposed to its passage. To ensure the bill's passage, National Security Agency official Thomas Reynolds (Jon Voight) kills Hammersley, but he is unaware of a video camera set up in a duck blind by wildlife researcher Daniel Zavitz (Jason Lee) that has captured the entire incident. Zavitz discovers the murder, and alerts an underground journalist, at the same time transferring the video to an innocuous computer disc. Reynolds learns of Zavitz's footage, and sends a team from the National Security Agency to recover the video by any means necessary. While on the run, Zavitz secretly passes the computer disc to an old college friend, labor lawyer Robert Clayton Dean (Will Smith), moments before being killed in a traffic accident.
When the NSA discovers that Dean may have the video, a special team raids his house and plants surveillance devices. Unable to find the video, the NSA proceeds to falsely incriminate Dean of passing classified information to Rachel Banks (Lisa Bonet), a former girlfriend. The subterfuge destroys Dean's life: In one day, he is fired from his job, his bank accounts are frozen, and his wife (Regina King) throws him out of the house. Dean, trailed by the NSA, meets with Banks, who offers to set up a meeting with "Brill", one of her secret contacts. After meeting an NSA agent posing as Brill (Gabriel Byrne), Dean realizes his error, only to have the real Brill, retired NSA agent Edward Lyle (Gene Hackman), ferry him to temporary safety, helping rid Dean of all the tracking devices he is unwittingly carrying. With Dean and Lyle in hiding, the NSA agents kill Banks and frame Dean for the murder. While Lyle is able to find evidence that the NSA executed the murder, it is destroyed during a frantic escape from an NSA raid.
Dean and Lyle blackmail another supporter of the surveillance bill, Congressman Sam Albert (Stuart Wilson), and record various state secrets to lure Reynolds into agreeing to a meeting with "Brill" to reveal his involvement. Dean and Lyle are captured by Reynolds and the NSA before the meeting. Dean tells them that the Hammersley murder footage is in the hands of Mafia boss Joey Pintero (Tom Sizemore, uncredited), whom he had been trying to prosecute and whose headquarters are under FBI surveillance. Dean, Reynolds and the NSA team head into Pintero's restaurant, precipitating a Mexican standoff and eventually a full-fledged gunfight that kills all the mobsters, Reynolds, and several of his NSA team. Dean and Lyle escape, with Lyle quickly disappearing from the authorities. The FBI discovers the plot behind the legislation, causing it to fail to gain passage, though they cover up the NSA's involvement. Dean is cleared of all charges and is reunited with his wife. Lyle escapes to a tropical location, but sends a friendly 'goodbye' message to Dean by bugging his television set.
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