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Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Enemy Mine DVD

This movie swings for the fence with every pitch...

Directed by Wolfgang Petersen 
Released in 1985

This movie swings for the fence with every pitch. If you are not a baseball fan, that is saying that a batter swings for the fence means that he only goes for home runs and does not try to just get on base. And, for you baseball fans out there, you know that the long ball hitter that swings for the fence with every pitch strikes out an awful lot. But, the fans love him anyway because when he gets hold of a good one it's a home run!

This movie is a lot like a long ball hitter - the director tries to go for a home run on so many levels that you end up alternating between shaking your head at the cheesiness of it all and wiping at a tear at the way some of the scenes work so perfectly.

The premise is that two enemy fighter pilots in a bitter intergalactic war shoot each other down over some horrible planet that will barely support life. One is human. One is a drac, a humanoid reptile species. They learn to trust one another and depend on one another and, eventually, the alien (Louis Gossett, Jr.) gives birth to a child (their species reproduces asexually). However, when the alien dies in childbirth the human (Dennis Quaid) raises it as his own and is forced to act when the child is captured by human slavers. Louis Gossett, Jr. was very good throughout. Quaid alternates between over the top ridiculousness and touching. The soundtrack is too much - too sentimental, too adventurous, etc. It gets in the way more than anything else in the movie.

The special effects are sometimes great (especially Gossett's make-up) and usually bad - think Star Trek original TV series quality, but the story mostly makes up for it.

All in all, I give this movie 3 stars for its up and down nature. The values and message are good, but sometimes the medium that transmits those values and that message is too saccharine for my tastes.

This movie can be found on Amazon.com here: Enemy Mine

Reviewed on December 29, 2006.

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