Monday, September 21, 2015

Movie Review: "Enemy Mine" (1985)

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Movie"Enemy Mine"
Director: Wolfgang Petersen
Year: 1985
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 48 minutes

After peace is found on Earth, humans start expanding into space and colonizing new planets. While they expand deeper into the universe, humans find they aren't alone as they start to encroach on planets that are already claimed. This creates a war between earthlings and a reptilian alien race known as the Dracs. During a dog fight, a fighter pilot named Willis Davidge (Dennis Quaid) crash lands on an unpopulated planet, as does the Drac pilot named Jeriba Shigan (Louis Gossett Jr.) he was battling with. In order to survive, these two enemies from different cultures and speak different languages, must learn to survive together or die apart.

"Enemy Mine" is an 80's sci-fi drama that deals with extreme culture clash and is one of BigJ's sentimental favorite films. Here, two soldiers from warring worlds have to find common ground in order to survive. This, as we all know, is a story that gets told in many different ways often about people from two different countries or from two different races, only here, it's taken to the sci-fi realm of outer space. There are no bones about it, the special effects in this movie are pretty bad, and in fact are sometimes almost laughably bad. Anything involving a ship in this movie, be it flying through space or even through an explosion, is just so low budget and so cheesy that it doesn't even come close to looking convincing. 80's special effects often don't hold up well, and this film is a prime example where this statement is 100% true. That being said, the makeup work done on the character of Jerry the Drac is extremely good. It is done very well and looks very convincing. We completely buy Louis Gossett Jr. as part of an alien race called the Drac, rather than him being just a guy in makeup. He and Willis Davidge, played by Dennis Quaid, often argue and insult each other throughout the movie as they first don't understand each other, literally and figuratively. Davidge insults the great Drac teacher, whose name I can't pronounce and won't try to spell, and the Drac, who Davidge calls Jerry, returns insults at earth's great teacher Mickey Mouse. Eventually, the two have to learn to work together and begin to, slowly but surely, understand each other, even with their faults. We also learn a lot about the Dracs as a race. They are asexual beings and can reproduce without sex. Eventually, the film reaches a point where Willis might have to stand in defense of a Drac against a human and in defiance of his own military simply because it's the right thing to do, to protect this being he now calls his friend. Sometimes, a person from one culture can understand a person from another culture easier than a whole group of people might understand another whole group of people. Though this movie is a dated sci-fi drama with bad special effects, even by 80's standards, it has a good message and delivers it well. For me, not growing up with this movie, it seems weird and out of place in the grand scheme of films. There are other, better, and less freaky movies that give the same sentiment and message which I'd rather watch than this, though the characters do keep the audience engaged and guessing throughout the film's run time. Overall, a meh-worthy sci-fi 80's movie for me, and one BigJ really enjoys pulling out to view every now and then.

My Rating: 5.5/10
BigJ's Rating: 7/10
IMDB's Rating: 6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 59%
Do we recommend this movie: Sure, why not?
One year ago, we were watching: "Clockers"

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