Enemy of the State (1998)

Enemy of the State Poster

Enemy of the State (1998)


As the 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. A National Security Agency official, Thomas Reynolds (Jon Voight), realizes the only way to assure its passage is to kill Hammersley. Rep. Hammersley is quietly killed in a remote park by Reynolds’ team, but they are unaware that a video camera set up in a duck blind by wildlife researcher Daniel Zavitz (Jason Lee) has captured the entire incident. Zavitz discovers the murder, and alerts an anti-war friend and underground journalist while preparing the video on computer cartridge.

Reynolds learns of Zavitz’s footage, and sends a team from the National Security Agency to recover the video by any means necessary. On the run, Zavitz silently passes the computer cartridge to his old college friend, labor lawyer Robert Clayton Dean (Will Smith), and soon dies in a traffic accident. When the NSA discover that Dean may have the video, they raid his house and plant surveillance devices. Without evidence of the video, the NSA further proceeds to create a false scandal that Dean has a love affair with Rachel Banks (Lisa Bonet), a former girlfriend. This leads to Dean being dismissed from his job, his bank accounts frozen, and his wife throwing him out the house.

Dean, trailed by the NSA, meets with Banks, and Banks offers to set up a meeting with “Brill”, an information contact of hers. On meeting Brill (Gabriel Byrne), he discovers the man is a decoy to throw the NSA off his trail while the real Brill, retired NSA agent Edward Lyle (Gene Hackman) sneaks them away and helps to rid Dean of all the tracking devices on his body. While they hide, the NSA frame Dean for the murder of Banks. While Lyle is able to find evidence that the NSA executed the murder, it is destroyed during a frantic escape from an NSA raid.

Starring: Will Smith, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight, Lisa Bonet, Regina King, Jack Black, Seth Green, Gabriel Byrne.

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