Sunday, April 13 2014, 08:02 AM MDT
Movie Review: Enemy
3 out of 5 Stars
Director: Denis Villeneuve
Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Mélanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Recommended To: Those looking for a thriller that could have been engrossing, but was mostly languid and dull.
Synopsis: Adam Bell (Jake Gyllenhaal), a college professor, becomes obsessed with actor Anthony St. Claire (Jake Gyllenhaal), his exact lookalike, after seeing him in a minor role in a film.
Review: There are some interesting themes being explored in Enemy. The title alone implies a certain sense of conflict between Adam and his doppelganger Anthony. The problem is that director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners) has made a film that takes opens with a bizarre display of sexuality that recalls Eyes Wide Shut and Irreversible and then plods along in a trancelike state that barely registers a pulse. Enemy should be a mind bending and fascinating experience; a variation on Fight Club if it was written by William S. Burroughs after he digested a dose of Franz Kafka. Villeneuve seems more interested in confusing the viewer and muddying the narrative than actually exploring the story. I haven’t read José Saramago novel, the film’s source material, but I have to believe that it more adequately explored the thoughts that must have haunted Anthony and particularly Adam. We identify ourselves first and foremost by our outward appearance. To discover someone who looked exactly the same would undoubtedly force a person on to a journey of self-rediscovery. Enemy fails to fully capture that voyage. It scrapes at the surface, but never digs in beneath the skin by choosing to simply present Adam and Anthony as foils. It’s too simplistic for its own good and feels like a waste of a fascinating concept.
-Ryan Michael Painter