i wz only half watchin ENEMY OF THE STATE (1998) f.will smith, gene hackman last night (bcz i wz flickin over to HOUSE yes HOUSE i sed HOUSE — and then also after a doc abt the cult of steroids), but if ever you want to contemplate how mainstream cultural norms can slam into reverse this is yr movie:
enemy of statethe NSA (= nationanal security agency now routinely hyped by the bush aministration as a necessary and useful tool IF ONLY IT IS ALLOWED TO FUNCTION* W/O OVERSIGHT) is here i. out of the control and in the pocket of its own sinister boss; ii. taken down by the put-upon w.smith in combo w.vengeful loony loner hackman (kinda revisitin his role in THE CONVERSATION)**; taken down in the most BLOOD-DRENCHED WAY***

*its function is eavesdropping: in the film it is infested by gen X hacker types who run a vast cybernetix’n’satellitecam web to SPY ON EVERYTHING — instead of eg establishing shots you get fabulous birds-eye zooms in the exact spot smith is standing
**so its “line” is BIG GOVT IS EVIL, which in 1998 wd have (more or less) been an anti-clinton conservative-libertarian position — haha smith is a LAWYER (i think) (HOUSE i tell you HOUSE!)
***no spoilers but the mismatch between the “event” smith “engineers” and some kind of acceptable comforting closure has become almost as vast here as the plot elements in the die hard trilogy

(such shifts aren’t new — and despite my komikal hed i’m not suggesting the BBC spotted what i’m highlighting and ran it yesterday for this very reason: my guess is the exact opposite, that they filed it under OK-action-thriller/affirms-the-status-quo, and that no one involved in its marketing EVER particularly caught onto the many little mindbombs inadvertewntly sown into such routine density of texture)