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Enemy Mine is one of my childhood favourite movies. I don’t know if you were the same but there were certain films that I watched over and over when I was young and Enemy Mine was certainly one of these. As you can imagine I was delighted to hear that Enemy Mine was getting a Region 1 release and I bought it straight away. There are certain childhood films that I leave for a while and go back and watch. Not having seen Enemy Mine for a while I was hoping that it would not be a disappointment.

Do you think I will get a part in the new Jaws movie?
Movie
Enemy Mine is 1985 cult Sci Fi hit starring a young-looking Dennis Quaid (Frequency) and Louis Gossett Jnr. It is directed by Wolfgang Petersen (Das Boot and Perfect Storm) so anyone who is a fan of his will expect some action packed with Emotion. Well this is not your average Sci Fi film. The Science Fiction element is only a small element of this film. It is more of a story about the building of friendships in difficult situations and against all odds.

Enemy Mine starts off with a traditional Sci Fi battle scene in space. The year is 2092 and Mankind is at war with an alien species called the Dracs.  The Battle results in a few casualties and Willis Davidge (Quaid) crash lands on a hostile planet whilst seeing his friend shot down in the battle by a Drac. Davidge survives the crash but later on finds that the Drac (Louis Gossett Jnr) who shot his friend also crash-landed on the planet. Filled with anger Davidge decides to hunt down the Drac and seek revenge. When he finds the Drac he tries to kill it, but manages to get caught and is held prisoner by the alien. At this point we see the Drac close up and realise what an ugly species they really are. They have brown skin and can be best described as a close relation to the toad and frog! After a few near death escapes the two enemies realise that to survive on the hostile planet they need each other’s help. The two slowly become friends and learn to respect one another’s cultures.  The Drac learns English (which is helpful for people watching the movie!) and the human tries to learn about the Drac. Their relationship grows as the movie progresses and the one-time enemies become good friends. I don’t want to go too much deeper into the story as there are some nice surprises in the movie, which should be kept quiet.

You are probably thinking that this movie is not sounding that exciting. Well you would be wrong. The story moves along at a good pace and does not get boring. As in Castaway (with Tom Hanks), the actors do a good job of keeping the audience’s attention even when nothing much is happening. Dennis Quaid gives a good performance as the stubborn human who has a short fuse. Later on in the film his character changes a little and he adapts well to the film’s change in direction. Louis Gossett Jnr is superb as the alien. Even though is he is completely unrecognisable as the Drac his performance is solid. At first the Drac comes over as a very hostile creature but as the movie progresses we see a difference side to the creature and Louis Gossett Jnr must be given credit for his role.

Enemy Mine
As I said at the beginning of this review Enemy Mine is an 80’s film and you are reminded of that throughout the movie. The special effects look quite dated now and the music has to be heard to be believed. I am sure that fifteen years ago this movie would have been considered very exciting with the background music but I have to admit to being annoyed by the high pitch sound effects that play whenever there is danger. I suppose I am used to better musical scores after seeing films like Gladiator and Pearl Harbor recently. Well as was expected I would have to say watching this film about five years after last seeing it, the film does disappoint. The story is pretty solid and the acting is good. There is not enough excitement for my liking and when the film does get exciting it is spoilt by the "over the top" music. Sadly, unlike films like Alien and Star Wars, this film does not stand the test of time!  

Video
The overall film may disappoint a little but 20th Century Fox have managed to produce a transfer of this film which is amazing. Considering that this film is over fifteen years old the picture is crisp and clear throughout. There are a few places where there appears to be damage to the original film but it is hardly noticeable. The original aspect ratio (2.35:1) is presented in anamorphic, and you will be hard pressed to find a better presentation of a film this old. I personally believe that the transfer of this film could not be improved.

Tell me honestly, Does my breath really smell?
Audio
The sound is presented as a Dolby Digital 4.0 soundtrack or as Dolby 2.0. There is also a French stereo version. Subtitles are provided in English and Spanish. The sound is adequate really, but never reaches the standards set by the picture.  To be honest the poor music and sound provided in the film did not really need a good soundtrack so the soundtrack provided on the disc is acceptable.

Extras
I was really looking forward to the extras provided on this disc but to say that they are disappointing would be an understatement.

This section of the review is going to be extremely short because the only extras included on the disc are a trailer and a few still photos. At first glance the extras look sparse but the “Behind the Scenes” featurette looks promising. However, upon selecting that option you are faced with three behind-the-scenes photos. Not what I would call behind the scenes really! There are trailers of other Fox movies. I am a great fan of the film Aliens but including the trailer as an extra for Enemy Mine just goes to show that Fox did not give much thought to putting extras on this disc. Also provided on this disc is a trailer of Enemy Mine. It is quite good to see the original trailer but it is nothing more than is expected from a DVD these days.

<Overall>
A reasonable film for its time, but it does not really compare to classic films like Star Wars and more recent films like The Matrix. If you are after an original Sci Fi movie then you might want to give this film a try. For real fans of the movie it is a very good transfer, which makes the DVD an attractive purchase. However be warned that there are virtually no extras on the disc.


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