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Watched A Favorite Movie Last Night

This movie has slowly stolen up on me and my list of favorite movies. I never saw it or heard of it when it was first released. Now it's one that I enjoy watching and pondering.

The movie is "Enemy of the State". Part of its appeal is its cast. Will Smith has the largest role, but the other two main characters are played by Jon Voight and Gene Hackman. Smaller but important roles are filled by Jack Black, Seth Green, and Lisa Bonet. 

Gene Hackman is on my annual list of top ten actors. I'm more likely to pay attention to the movie if Gene Hackman is in it. Although I've enjoyed him and his talents in many roles, what really drew me into him was 1974's "The Conversation". That's likely my favorite of his roles although he was brillant in "The French Connection" and I loved him in "Unforgiven".  I thought him the best part of "Runaway Jury". 

Jon Voight's work is equally commendable but he's not one that draws me to a movie. Nor is Will Smith. I like much of Will Smith's work but feel that he's not nearly on the level of Gene Hackman. I think of "Enemy of the State" as some of his best work. 

Part of what draws me to Enemy is how escalations, twists and escapes. Will Smith and Gene Hackman's characters are forced into increasing inventiveness to escape. Eventually they're captured but one final smart -- or is it lucky? -- spin of fate's wheel lets Hackman and Smith escape. Sure, there are inconsistencies, and you really learn to love to despise and resent the bad guy, played by Jon Voight. He brings terrific contemptuous menace to the role. Despite knowing the story, I like watching each facet develop anew every time.