Enemy Mine is one of those science fiction films that you fondly remember growing up in the 1980’s. Director Wolfgang Petersen had a big success previously with his award-winning Das Boot and this was his second English language film.
After a space battle, a soldier from Earth (Dennis Quaid) crash-lands on an alien world. Eventually, he encounters another survivor, but from the enemy species he was fighting; they band together to survive on this hostile world. In the end, the human finds himself caring for his enemy in a completely unexpected way.
In 1968, John Boorman directed Hell in the Pacific a film with a very similar premise of two enemy soldiers having to band together to survive. The twist here, of course, is that one happens to be on an alien planet rather than a Pacific island. Other movies spring to mind also after watching this, Robinson Crusoe on Mars is another lone man on a desolate planet and Enemy Mine borrows some of the key aspects from both movies.
The film is not subtle in some of its story arcs, the villains towards the end are standard evil slave traders and the ending is a little mawkish but the film still has an enjoyable vibe even if its approach is slightly dated. Louis Gosset Jr is very good as the Drac who befriends the Earth soldier and he gives a wonderful performance under all that makeup.
The Blu ray released by Eureka uses a very good print for its source, contrast and colours are striking and the transfer is top drawer. Audio has two options, a DTS HD master audio 5.0 which uses the added sound field to very good effect. The Linear PCM 2.0 stereo track is also very good but not as enhancing as expected.
Extras are few, the trailer and an extended scene, presumably taken from a German VHS copy as it’s in that language with English subtitles. Also included is a well produced booklet with a detailed history of the film’s production.
Sci-fi fans from the 80’s will find much to enjoy when they catch up with this warm-hearted classic if not original tale.
FILM: 7 PICTURE: 8 AUDIO: 7.5 EXTRAS: 3