Labor Law Movie Review: Enemy of the State

Enemy of the State from 1998 is an action movie starring Will Smith.  By way of full disclosure, I saw this movie in a theater when it came out.  Here is the description from Amazon:

Robert Clayton Dean (Will Smith) is a lawyer with a wife and family whose happily normal life is turned upside down after a chance meeting with a college buddy (Jason Lee) at a lingerie shop. Unbeknownst to the lawyer, he's just been burdened with a videotape of a congressman's assassination. Hot on the tail of this tape is a ruthless group of National Security Agents commanded by a belligerently ambitious fed named Reynolds (Jon Voight). Using surveillance from satellites, bugs, and other sophisticated snooping devices, the NSA infiltrates every facet of Dean's existence, tracing each physical and digital footprint he leaves. Driven by acute paranoia, Dean enlists the help of a clandestine former NSA operative named Brill (Gene Hackman), and Enemy of the State kicks into high-intensity hyperdrive.

Sounds exciting but what does it have to do with labor and employment law?  The lawyer played by Will Smith is a labor lawyer, of course.  Beyond that, it really doesn’t have much of anything to do with labor and employment law.  Sure, it accurately depicts the car chases and fist fights that make up so much of my practice but other than that, there is not much going on here other than a spy/thriller movie.  One odd point is that Will Smith’s character represents union members against the union’s leadership, which is secretly run by the mafia.  It doesn’t make much sense but you really need to suspend disbelief to enjoy this sort of movie.

Labor Law Content ** (out of five)

Labor Law Accuracy *  (out of five)



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