Give Peace A Chance

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Reviews - Russell Lewin

re­leased OUT NOW! 1985 | 12 | Blu-ray Di­rec­tor Wolf­gang Petersen Cast dennis Quaid, louis Gos­sett Jr, Bumper robin­son, Brion James

It’s 2092 and Earth is en­gaged in an in­ter­stel­lar war with rep­til­ian race the Dracs. After fighter pi­lot Davidge (Dennis Quaid) has a dog­fight with Jeriba Shi­gan (Louis Gos­sett Jr) the pair crash-land on an alien world. Ini­tially at odds, they learn that co-oper­a­tion is bet­ter, but events soon test their new bond...

The plot’s been done be­fore, both in war movies (None But The Brave, Hell In The Pa­cific) and in TV sci-fi (UFO, Galac­tica 1980) and its peace­able sym­bol­ism is clear. In En­emy Mine the an­tag­o­nis­tic duo get along quickly (too quickly, per­haps), and Jeriba picks up English at re­mark­able speed. These fac­tors make it much more ap­proach­able than di­rec­tor Wolf­gang Petersen’s Das Boot, then, but it’s not as floaty as his Never End­ing Story. Mo­ments of early hu­mour – a mon­ster that de­vours a crit­ter belches – give way to sen­ti­ment later on.

Be­sides the sac­cha­rine touches, the lat­ter stages in­vest heav­ily in bom­bast and melo­drama, and ’80s ac­tion tropes fly around. Sub­tlety is jet­ti­soned. We’ve had our fun, though, and per­haps learnt a few lessons in hu­man­ity for that war that’s go­ing to kick off in around 70 years or so...

Ex­tras Just the trailer and a grainy ex­tended scene (with Ger­man au­dio and English sub­ti­tles).

Orig­i­nal di­rec­tor Richard Lon­craine was re­moved after sev­eral weeks’ film­ing, with Wolf­gang Petersen start­ing from scratch.

“You got a purty mouth, boy.”

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