Review of Enemy Mine (1985)

Moving picture, 108 minutes

Seen in 2017.

Charmingly flawed in every aspect. Space seems very small compared to the planet. A breathable atmosphere provides no protection from a meteorite shower, but quasi-turtle shells do, even though they’re useless against the seasonally(?) falling rootless forest. The humanoid reptile species does not make sense: Spontaneous asexual reproduction followed by death, yet size, body plan, senses, diet, mental faculties, vocal chords, social instincts etc. are all nearly identical to those of humankind.

Symptomatically, Jeriba, Zammi and the elderly Drac whose speaking role at the mine is the third most prominent for the species are all played by black American actors. The species is struggling in part under slavery, sustained by mysticism (exoticism), yet they are not actually allowed to look like black Americans. Their white savior gets to look like a bare-chested space Jesus.

Aside from all the nonsense, a few aspects of the worldbuilding make sense. Both species are similarly warlike, and conveniently forget who started it. Commercial interests are at the forefront of human expansion, putting a cyberpunk patina on the whole affair. The analog effects work looks very quaint.

moving picture fiction