Jake Gyllenhaal reunites with his PRISONERS director, in this sexy and hypnotically surreal psychological thriller. Adam Bell is a glum, disheveled history professor, who seems disinterested with even his beautiful girlfriend, Mary. While watching a movie, Adam spots his exact double – an extra named Anthony – and decides to track him down. When the identical men meet, their lives become bizarrely, irrevocably entwined.
Jake Gyllenhaal stars alongside himself in Enemy; the only question is who gives the better performance? What would you do if you discovered your exact doppelganger? Is the other question this film poses amongst a smoggy city landscape that seems to be heavily influenced by David Lynch & Alfred Hitchcock. Not that it’s a bad thing; if you are going to have influences you may as well have the best.
Enemy is a tense, surreal journey that follows Adam a bored with his life history professor who discovers his exact double as a background extra in a movie. He quickly becomes obsessed with finding out more about this person and turns detective/stalker. These are the moments where Enemy is at its best, with its unnerving score making even the most mundane everyday things appear menacing. Unfortunately it takes a long time to get to this point.
For some reason director Denis Villeneuve (Prisoners – also with Jake Gyllenhaal) felt compelled to set these characters up, almost losing me completely. It sets up Adam’s daily routine repeated again and again and again and again until hopefully the audience has the point, yes this guy’s life is boring, I get it! Another scene at the beginning features an underground club with naked women in heels, spiders and creepy old guys in suits. A scene that’s so pretentious it makes your skin crawl like the spiders are all over you. That being said, if you can make it out the other side of the films unfortunate beginning it becomes compelling viewing.
And then there was the ending, an ending that left me as cold as the beginning.
Review out of five stars: ★★★1/2 Stars
Review by Andy Marshall – to find me on Letterboxd click HERE
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