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Enemy Mine

6 Ratings: 3.2
Science fiction film about a human pilot and an alien pilot forced to work together in order to survive.

Enemy Mine is a 1985 science fiction film based on the story of the same title by Barry B. Longyear. It was produced by Twentieth Century Fox, directed by Wolfgang Petersen, and starred Dennis Quaid and Louis Gossett, Jr. The original music score is … see full wiki

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy
1 review about Enemy Mine

A Timeless Example of an Era Passed

  • Jun 11, 2010
Rating:
+4
1985 might as well have been an eternity ago to today's filmgoer who has become dependent upon heavily computer-generated imagery, fast cuts, and inconceivable perspectives. Enemy Mine could very easily be considered the opposite of these trends in every possible arena. Pacing is methodic, visual effects are all practical, and fairly restrictive sets force the viewer into appreciating the writing through dialog exchange.

The premise, based on the 1979 short story of the same title by Barry B. Longyear, takes place in the late 21st century, amidst an ongoing interstellar war between human beings (Bilateral Terran Alliance, or BTA as its referred) and the Dracs (a mysterious reptilian race). Human pilot Willis E. Davidge (Dennis Quaid) and Drac Jeriba “Jerry” Shigan (Louis Gossett, Jr.) engage in a spacecraft skirmish, which results in them both crash-landing on a hostile moon known as Fyrine IV.

The core of the tale works of the idea of members of opposing armed forces discovering that they have more in common than they do discrepancies.  After initial residual hostilities, the two pilots eventually come to terms with the idea that cooperation is essential to survive the harsh environment.  The story spans years, whereby the two lead characters learn to overcome their differences, become friends, and eventually share each other's languages and cultures.

Honestly, this is science fiction in the purest sense of the classification and despite a look, feel, and tones that never stray far from that fact, I can state with certainty that this film would likely appeal to anyone who appreciates good storytelling.  The metaphor of enemies with no vendetta against each other aside from what their respective government’s assign them is of course easily transferable to our world.  The alien costumes and unearthly environment simply act to enhance the universally relatable prose.  Additionally, themes of love transcending gender, race and even species are not only present here, but serve as the catalyst upon which the whole story is built.


Additionally, especially noteworthy is Louis Gossett, Jr.’s spectacular performance as the Drac.  Say what you will about the charms of CG but Enemy Mine harkens back to a time when latex, rubber, and body paint were the means of creating something otherworldly for the screen.  Not only is Gossett’s performance spectacular but the simple fact that his presence opposite Dennis Quaid throughout production seems to have elevated Quaid’s performance in terms of believability as well.

In all, Enemy Mine was most certainly lost to the wake left by science fiction giants Star Wars and Star Trek of the early 1980s during its original theatrical debut and while still readily available on the home market (in fact even as an affordable DVD double-pack with fellow 20th Century Fox 1980’s science fiction film, Alien Nation), is sadly largely overlooked.  In my opinion Enemy Mine serves a timeless reminder of an era where storytelling took precedence over flashy visuals and the appeal of science fiction was strongly interlaced with what it means to be human.

A Timeless Example of an Era Passed A Timeless Example of an Era Passed A Timeless Example of an Era Passed

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June 11, 2010
Excellent review, Jay! This is among my favorite sci-fi movies that ever came out in the 80's because of its powerful statement that working together would achieve more than fighting against each other. Among of its other themes such as friendship, understanding and communication is key to its success. Thanks for the blessing the community with this review! It will be on this week's a LOOK BACK SPOTLIGHT.
June 11, 2010
My pleasure Woop- although looking at it here, it appears the system chopped off the first few paragraphs of the review on me. I'll fix this right away and am definitely looking forward to the Spotlight. Your treatment of these pieces has earned me a lot of traffic/ feedback that would otherwise have gotten lost in the sauce. Thanks again bro.
 
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