tek's rating:

Enemy Mine (PG-13)
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Caution: Spoilers.

Um... so this is a movie from 1985. It's based on a story I've never read, but the basic scenario is something I've read in plenty of other stories and seen in other movies or episodes of TV shows. The production values on the movie aren't great, and pretty much everything about the movie is implausible. Still, it's not a bad story.

Toward the end of the 21st century, humanity has started exploring space and colonizing other worlds. There's another race out there, the Dracs, who are also colonizing worlds, and because of the competition over territory, humans and Dracs are at war. At the start of the movie, a human pilot named Willis Davidge crash lands on a desolate planet at the same time as a Drac pilot named Jeriba Shigan, with whom he had been in a dogfight in space. Of course, the two of them fight each other at first, but before too long they begin working together to enhance their chances of survival on the inhospitable world. Eventually, they even become friends. One of the things I find most implausible is how quickly they seemed to learn each other's language, but whatever. I'm not sure how much Jeriba might have known about human culture before he met Davidge, but Davidge clearly didn't know much about Drac culture, except that they were reptilian and hermaphroditic. But anyway, they both learn more about each other over time. The Drac are clearly a spiritual people, following the teachings of... I dunno. But there's a book of wisdom Jeriba teaches Davidge to read, and it's similar to various religious philosophies on Earth. Still, in spite of friendship and commonalities, the two of them do occasionally still argue or even fight.

But eventually, Davidge learns that Jeriba is expecting to give birth, something that I guess can't really be predicted... I mean, conception just happens whenever it happens, because Dracs reproduce asexually. Anyway, something's wrong with Jeriba's pregnancy, I guess, and he knows he's going to die. (Or I should say "it" knows, since that's the pronoun used in the movie, which makes sense, since Dracs are neither male nor female, or technically they're both. Whatever.) Before it dies, Jeriba makes Davidge promise to someday take its offspring (which it named Zammis) before its world's Holy Council, to recite its lineage (which is very important to Dracs). And after Zammis is born, we see Davidge raising the child on his own. But Dracs mature faster than humans, so before long Zammis has grown from a baby to a child, who calls Davidge "Uncle." And then eventually... there's some trouble with Scavengers, humans who raid uninhabited worlds like this one for minerals, and also hunt Dracs to use as slave labor. So of course Davidge wants to protect Zammis from them.

I don't really want to give away any more plot details. I feel like I've said too much already. But... there is some dramatic stuff, and it all ends with some closing narration. It was... nice enough I guess, but not much of an ending. I dunno, I kind of managed to care about Davidge, Jeriba, and Zammis, but no one else in the movie was really memorable at all. The plot was decent, and the actors did the best they could with the story, but for the most part I found the writing kind of... meh. Still, as I said the movie could be dramatic at times, and also kind of humorous, and kind of touching. I guess. But ultimately I just... I dunno, I said I cared about the main characters and how things turned out for them, but in spite of that I can't really say I cared about the movie itself. Definitely not something I'm ever going to want to watch again...


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