The 1985 film Enemy mine tells the story of two soldiers – a human and an alien – who become unlikely allies when stranded together on a desolate planet. TV writer Andrea Kai says even an outstanding performance by Louis Gossett Jr. cannot save the film.
“I remember that I really liked this movie when I saw it many years ago, but it didn’t hold up to my memory,” says Kail in episode 490 of the Geeks Guide to the Galaxy Podcast. “It was shot like a B-movie. Dennis Quaid was exaggerated, the music over the top. I just found it a lot less pleasant than it should have been. “
Geeks Guide to the Galaxy host David Barr Kirtley agrees that the film is lackluster, which is a shame considering it is based on an award-winning novella by Barry Longyear. “The [novella] is really very touching, ”says Kirtley. “It’s the story of this guy who learns to understand another culture and then passes it on to a child. It’s all about this. It is wonderful.”
The film builds on a cheesy, tacked-on finale in which the human soldier goes on a bloody rampage. Humor writer Tom Gerencer says the ending is especially strange given the pacifist themes of the rest of the film. “The whole part where he’s killing everyone, I think, ‘What’s the point here?'” He says. “Now he’s learned to be peaceful and he’s just killing all these people?”
Science fiction writer Matthew Kressel says the time is right for a new version of Enemy mine that stays closer to the source material. “I think this movie could be remade if you made it with modern special effects,” he says. “I think it’s a timeless message – that we shouldn’t dehumanize anyone just because they’re not familiar to us.”
Hear the full interview with Andrea Kail, Tom Gerencer and Matthew Kressel in episode 490 of Geeks Guide to the Galaxy (Above). And check out some highlights from the discussion below.
David Barr Kirtley over The last star fighter:
“When I saw it as a kid, it felt a lot more serious and dramatic to me, and when I see it now the tone is more like Galaxy Quest. It’s really, really silly – in a funny way. … I think they say this is a federation of 800 worlds or something and they only have 12 fighter pilots fighting for them? And then they have this wall of satellites to defend them from the bad guys and it’s like, ‘No guys, we’re in space.’ I mean, it should probably be a globe around all 800 worlds. So how many of these things are we talking about? Maybe that’s why they only have 12 fighter pilots – because they spent all their money on this gigantic wall. “
Matthew Kressel over Enemy mine:
“Whenever we fight another group, we dehumanize them so that we can kill them. ‘Oh, those are inhuman monsters!’ When you see them as a different person – in this case, it’s an alien – but when you see their soul face to face and that they are just like you and in some ways better than you, that’s a powerful one in my opinion Message. … [The alien] says, “We were here a thousand years before you,” and that’s clearly one of those things that both sides think they’re right about, but they both want essentially the same thing. So when we get to the end where Davidge recites the ancient lineage of the Drac homeworld, I found that unexpectedly moving. “
Tom Gerencer up Flight of the navigator:
“I only ever saw the part where he flies around on the spaceship Pee, Herman When I spoke to him, I thought, ‘This film is absolutely stupid.’ And when I had to go back last week and watch that movie from start to finish, I thought, ‘Holy crap, this is so cool it shows up and he hasn’t aged, but it’s eight years later and his parents are all saddened. ‘ I thought, ‘Wow, I had no idea there was anything cool about this movie.’ I really enjoyed that, and that’s why I enjoyed the rest of the movie because I was like, ‘Now there’s a context and I understand what’s going on.’ So I really enjoyed this film, but mainly because I only ever saw the part without a plot. “
Andrea Kail up Short circuit:
“I have very fond memories of this film. I remember when I was a teenager I thought it was absolutely hilarious. There was a line I hadn’t thought of in years, but soon Fisher Stevens When I said it, I thought, ‘Oh my god. I remember saying that back and forth with my boyfriend back then ‘because we thought it was so funny. It was the line: ‘I’m wearing an enormous woody right now’. And we would say it with that awful Indian accent. I thought it was hilarious then and I see it now and it’s so terrifying and terrible. We did all of those ’80s films – the bad, the good – and it feels to me like we’re not only nostalgic, we’re encountering the ghosts of our past: the casual racism, the misogyny, the was so widespread in the 80s. “
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