Enemy Mine: Relevant Sci-Fi in an Era Where it’s Forgotten


Image Courtesy of Kings Road Production and SLM Production Group

Gage Landauer, Staff Writer

1985’s Enemy Mine is a beautiful film. It takes place about a century in the future. Humans have taken to the stars exploring the galaxy and exploiting its resources. And in the process of doing this, they discovered a race of asexual reptilian aliens known as the Drac. These two races begin warring to see who gets to claim to the planets and the stars. The war is fought mainly in space dog fights akin to Star Wars. During one of these dogfights, two spaceships crash land on an alien planet leaving 2 people stranded. A human and a Drac. And though they are very different and start out hating each other and attempting to murder each other they eventually bond over the challenge of survival. They learn to put aside their preconceived notions of each other and even love each other as family.

The movie I just described to you has so much potential but ultimately falls short. It is a good film, but it truly falls short. This movie asks so many questions it could have answered them and been an intriguing allegorical tale but it cops out and delivers a bland ending. For example, when the human expresses fear of being alone if the Drac dies, the Drac tells him; “You are alone. Within yourself, you are alone. That is why you humans… have separated your sexes…into two separate halves, for the joy of that brief…union.” That quote seems like the movies want to talk about gender but this is one of the times the movie asks a question and doesn’t talk about at all for the rest of the film. The ending of this movie is also very stereotypical. Just like the rest of the movie it stays within common story conventions and doesn’t push itself to its full potential.

The main Human played by Dennis Quaid and the main Drac played by Louis Gossett jr. , both actors do phenomenal jobs playing their characters. The dialogue can be a little iffy at times but believable, especially Louis Gossett Jr.’s performance. He excels at character acting and looks very good in the prosthetics of the Drac costume.

The special effects for this movie are also really good. The multiple aliens look real and the planet they crash land on has excellent set designs and green screen work.

For all of the issues, I have with this movie I do recommend it. Because it one hundred percent should be remade. Many of the themes in these movies are more relevant than ever. Debates on race, religion, war, gender are prevalent throughout the modern era. And no genre can shoulder all of them as sci-fi can. That is the job of science fiction to create situations that make us question our own reality.