Review Date: November 21, 1998
Director: Tony Scott
Writer: David Marconi
Producers: Jerry Bruckheimer
On the acting side of things, Jon Voight is convincing as the head of a department that's seriously lobbying to play "big brother" in America's technological future. The rest of the bad guys are your standard fare, with many of them sporting the same spiked, platinum haircuts, so that nobody will detect them as a team (Good move, guys!). Gene Hackman returns as a super-paranoid recluse fresh from the conclusion of his role in 1974's THE CONVERSATION (6/10), in which he started of as a surveillance expert, and eventually disintegrated into a total paranoid fruitcake (Just a cool coincidence? I think not.) He is also quite good in his role, and physically standardized as the "crazy, whacked-up guy" as per his donning of the proverbial black rimmed glasses. Will Smith was actually okay in his part, but seemed to have delivered most of his funniest lines in the film's trailer. And lastly, Jason Lee of MALLRATS (6/10) fame, pulls off another slick performance as the hip, young cat who could swear with the best of them.
Director Scott also returns with many of his trademarks, as his frenetic camera shots, five second edits, and overdone technical mumbojumbo (How many times do we have to see the satellite dish floating out in space, and the overhead camera shots of people being chased...okay, Tony, we get it...they're cool shots, but let's move on already!). He also made sure to have at least one wicked downpour near the film's conclusion, as to solidify its presence in every one of his films. All in all, the film is packed with energy and thrills, delivers many decent performances, an intelligible plot with some obvious holes, but does run on for about half and hour too long, and could get repetitive at some points.