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Spy Games and High-Tech Thrills: The Legacy of Enemy of the State

Enemy of the State: A Synopsis

With an all-star cast and pulse-pounding action, Enemy of the State is a classic 90s thriller that is still entertaining viewers today. Directed by Tony Scott and starring Will Smith and Gene Hackman, this film keeps you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

In this article, we will explore the plot, characters, and themes of Enemy of the State.


Enemy of the State begins with the murder of a congressman and the theft of a videotape that shows the murder. The tape falls into the hands of unsuspecting lawyer Robert Dean (Will Smith), who becomes the target of a powerful government agency led by NSA official Thomas Reynolds (Jon Voight).

Reynolds will stop at nothing to get the tape back, even going so far as to frame Dean for a crime he didn’t commit. As Dean tries to clear his name and stay alive, he turns to former NSA operative Edward “Brill” Lyle (Gene Hackman) for help.

Brill reluctantly agrees to help him and together they try to outsmart Reynolds and his team of agents.


Will Smith gives a stellar performance as Robert Dean, a man who is caught up in a dangerous conspiracy and has to rely on his wits to survive. Gene Hackman is equally impressive as Brill, a man with a shady past who does what he can to help his friend.

Jon Voight is chilling as Thomas Reynolds, a man who will stop at nothing to achieve his goals. Other notable performances include Jack Black as a sleazy computer technician, Lisa Bonet as Dean’s wife Carla, and Regina King as his friend and fellow lawyer.


Enemy of the State explores many themes that are still relevant today, such as government surveillance, privacy rights, and the abuse of power. The film shows how easy it is for the government to invade our private lives and manipulate information to further their own agendas.

It also highlights the importance of standing up for what is right, even when it means going against the powerful forces that control our lives.


In conclusion, Enemy of the State is a thrilling and thought-provoking film that will keep you on the edge of your seat. With its talented cast, gripping plot, and relevant themes, this movie is a must-see for anyone who enjoys a good 90s thriller.

Enemy of the State: A Synopsis of the


Enemy of the State is an action-packed, suspenseful thriller that begins with the murder of a congressman. The videotape recording of the murder accidentally falls into the hands of unsuspecting lawyer Robert Dean (Will Smith), who becomes a target of a powerful government agency led by NSA official Thomas Reynolds (Jon Voight).

The storylines switch back and forth between Dean’s personal life and work life, including his job as a labor lawyer and his relationship with his wife Carla (Lisa Bonet). Before his life is turned upside down by the unexpected events, his biggest problem in life is trying to get ahold of an old basketball game on VHS to celebrate the anniversary of him and Carla watching it at a game.

Once Reynolds and his men learn that Dean has the video, they put him under 24-hour surveillance, monitor his phone calls, and track his movements. The agents start to manipulate evidence and try to frame Dean for the murder of the congressman in order to cover up their own wrongdoings.

The stakes get higher when Dean’s wife Carla becomes involved in the conflict. After a confrontation with Reynolds’ team of agents, she is implicated in a false charge of drug possession and placed in prison.

Desperate to clear his name and protect his wife, Dean reaches out to former NSA operative Edward “Brill” Lyle (Gene Hackman), who is an expert in conspiracy theories and surveillance technology. Through Lyle’s guidance and vast knowledge of the intricate web of government surveillance, the pair work together to try and take down the powerful agency and clear Dean’s name.

As Dean and Lyle make headway in their investigation, they are relentlessly pursued by Reynolds and his team. A high-speed car chase through the streets of Baltimore ensues, where Dean and Lyle eventually crash near an abandoned building.

As the two recover from the crash, Reynolds and his men surround them. With Brill’s help, Dean is able to distract the agents and escape.

Meanwhile, Lyle stays behind and uses his elaborate surveillance setups to help Dean clear his name and bring down the corrupt agency. The film climaxes with Dean and Lyle going to meet with a reporter to give him evidence of the NSA’s wrongdoings, only to be interrupted by Reynolds’ thugs.

In a final showdown on the docks, Dean and Lyle outwit Reynolds’ team and deliver the evidence to the media, exposing the corruption and abuse of power within the NSA. In conclusion, Enemy of the State is a suspenseful and fast-paced thriller that keeps audiences on the edge of their seats.

The complex plot, aided by the strong performances of a talented cast, highlights the potential consequences of government surveillance and the importance of protecting the right to privacy. The film is a must-see for fans of thrilling action and intriguing conspiracy theories.

Enemy of the State: The Making of a Thrilling Production

Directed by the late Tony Scott, Enemy of the State was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, who also produced many of Scott’s previous films, including Top Gun, Days of Thunder, and Crimson Tide. Their chemistry and expertise in the action genre brought an exciting appeal to this high-stakes thriller.

Production of the film began in 1997 with a $90-million budget (including marketing expenses), an enormous figure at the time. Bruckheimer and Scott made sure that every penny was well spent, hiring an impressive production team to bring the story to life on screen.

The film was shot primarily in and around Baltimore, Maryland, taking advantage of its diverse range of locations, from the bustling city streets to the tranquil rolling hills further out of town. Production designer Benjamin Fernandez transformed the urban landscape of Baltimore into a high-tech spy world, filling every corner with tech equipment and surveillance gadgets.

The film features elaborate action set pieces, including a high-speed chase through a Baltimore tunnel, a rooftop helicopter pursuit, and a dramatic showdown on the docks. Stunt coordinator Jeff Imada and visual effects supervisor Hoyt Yeatman worked closely to ensure that each scene was executed with precision and realism, while still delivering the visual spectacle that audiences expect from a Jerry Bruckheimer production.

The film’s sound design was another crucial element in creating an immersive experience for viewers. Sound designer George Watters II and his team worked tirelessly to capture the sounds of the different locations, as well as creating an intricate soundscape, which amplifies the tension as Dean tries to survive the government surveillance.

Enemy of the State’s musical score is another standout feature of the production. Composed by Harry Gregson-Williams and Trevor Rabin, the score is a blend of traditional orchestration and cutting-edge electronic music, an approach that perfectly complements the film’s high-tech espionage theme.

The film’s stellar cast, led by Will Smith, Gene Hackman, and Jon Voight, added another layer of excitement to the production. Smith, who was fresh off his success in Independence Day and Men in Black, brought humor and charm to the role of Robert Dean, while Hackman stole the show with his nuanced portrayal of the retired NSA agent Brill.

Voight’s performance as the menacing Thomas Reynolds was also highly praised. Overall, Enemy of the State was a major production that combined the talents of many skilled creative professionals.

The film’s high-concept storytelling, elaborate action sequences, and impressive technical achievements, combined with a strong cast, created an unforgettable experience for audiences. Enemy of the State: The Blockbuster Release

Produced by Hollywood powerhouse Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by the late Tony Scott, Enemy of the State was released in American theaters on November 20, 1998, to critical and commercial success.

The film grossed nearly $250 million worldwide, making it one of the highest-grossing films of 1998. With a production budget of $90 million, Enemy of the State proved to be a lucrative investment for its producers, who took a gamble on the film’s high-concept storyline and talented cast.

The film was received positively by most critics, who praised its suspenseful storyline, fast-paced action sequences, and impressive visual effects. The chemistry between the film’s two leads, Will Smith and Gene Hackman, was also highly praised, adding depth to the film’s complex plot and tense action sequences.

Enemy of the State was marketed as a high-tech thriller, which attracted a broad audience, from action and espionage fans to casual moviegoers. The film’s premise of privacy invasion and government surveillance had public appeal, which served as a commentary on surveillance programs that were in the headlines at the time.

The film was also released in a unique way, with its trailer being shown on computer screens instead of traditional movie trailers. This innovative marketing tactic helped generate buzz around the film’s high-tech environment and intricate surveillance-based storyline.

Enemy of the State’s release also marked a turning point in the careers of both Will Smith and Tony Scott. Smith, who had worked mainly in comedy and action films before Enemy of the State, took on more serious roles in the years following its release, often tackling heavier and more dramatic storylines.

Meanwhile, Tony Scott’s status as a bankable director was cemented by the success of Enemy of the State, and he continued to direct successful films such as Spy Game, Man on Fire, and Dj Vu, until his untimely death in 2012. In the years since its release, Enemy of the State has become a cult favorite, regarded as a thrilling action film but also as a commentary on the government’s intrusion into daily lives, with themes that resonate with audiences even today.

The film has influenced other productions that tackle similar topics, such as the TV series Person of Interest and Mr. Robot. In conclusion, Enemy of the State’s release in 1998 marked a significant moment in the careers of many individuals involved in the production and created a standard of techno-centric suspense thrillers.

The film’s unique marketing campaign, exciting action sequences, and poignant commentary on government surveillance made it a hit with audiences. Decades later, the film is still regarded as a thrilling movie and a cultural touchstone.

Enemy of the State: The Thrilling Soundtrack

Enemy of the State’s soundtrack is a unique blend of traditional orchestration, electronic soundscapes, and intense percussion designed to capture the film’s fast-paced action and espionage themes. This unusual approach to scoring made an impact and demonstrated the popularity of using a mix of traditional and techno music in the 1990s.

The score was composed by Harry Gregson-Williams and Trevor Rabin, who brought different musical backgrounds to the project. Gregson-Williams had worked on other Jerry Bruckheimer films, including The Rock and Armageddon, while Rabin had experience with electronic and rock music, having scored films such as Con Air and Gone in 60 Seconds.

The opening credits of the film set the tone with a pounding drum beat that builds intensity, drawing viewers into the story. One of the key features of the score is the mix of traditional orchestration and electronic music.

The use of percussion, synthesizers, and other electronic sounds add an otherworldly atmosphere to the film, symbolizing the technology and surveillance capabilities at the heart of the story. Instrumentation-wise, the main themes of the movie are carried by a full symphony sound utilizing percussion, piano, strings, and driving bass.

The score has a frantic, almost frenetic quality, suited to both the action sequences and the portrayal of a man fighting an insidious force in order to protect his family. One of the most memorable moments on the soundtrack is the rhythmic “Brill’s Theme”, which blends the sounds of synthesizers with the percussion-heavy orchestra.

This theme is often used during scenes where Gene Hackman’s character, Brill, is working on various hacking sequences, and it captures the character’s technical wizardry and expertise. Another standout track is “Zavitz Chase”, where the soundtrack proves its excellence during the film’s high-speed chase sequence.

The rapid-fire drums, electric guitar riffs, and driving bass bring a heightened intensity to the scene. The track is a perfect blend of electronic and orchestral that fits the film’s visual style.

The film also features licensed music, primarily from contemporary artists. The most notable song on the soundtrack is “It’s Not Unusual” by Tom Jones, which is played during a humorous scene where Smith as Robert Dean sings along to the hit in his car.

The contrast between such lighthearted music and the film’s suspenseful themes works well and adds to the film’s quirky and unique nature. In conclusion, the score for Enemy of the State showcases the versatility of its composers and the innovative use of sound design and music in the film production industry.

The blending of traditional orchestration with electronic sounds, intense percussion, and driving bass lines creates an exciting and visceral listening experience. Despite its age, the soundtrack remains iconic in the action genre, adding an additional layer of excitement to an already thrilling movie.

In conclusion, Enemy of the State is a thrilling movie that combines high stakes espionage and riveting action sequences with poignant commentary on government surveillance and the invasion of privacy. The film’s production, release, and soundtrack have contributed to its cult classic status, resonating with audiences even today.

Whether you are a fan of techno-centric action movies or thought-provoking thrillers, Enemy of the State is a must-see. FAQs:


Who directed Enemy of the State? Enemy of the State was directed by Tony Scott.

2. Who starred in the film?

Will Smith, Gene Hackman, and Jon Voight all starred in Enemy of the State. 3.

What is the film’s plot? The film centers around a lawyer who is unwittingly embroiled in government surveillance, framed for a crime he didn’t commit, and hunted down by a powerful agency that will stop at nothing to silence him.

4. What themes are explored in the movie?

The film explores themes of government surveillance, privacy rights, and the abuse of power. 5.

What is the significance of the film’s soundtrack? The blending of traditional orchestration with electronic sounds, intense percussion, and driving bass lines creates an exciting and visceral listening experience, adding another layer of excitement to an already thrilling movie.

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