Enemy at the Gates (2001)

“I’ve been such a fool, Vassili. Man will always be a man. There is no new man. We tried so hard to create a society that was equal, where there’d be nothing to envy your neighbour. But there’s always something to envy. A smile, a friendship, something you don’t have and want to appropriate. In this world, even a Soviet one, there will always be rich and poor. Rich in gifts, poor in gifts. Rich in love, poor in love.” – Commisar Danilov

Number of Times Seen – Twice (15 May 2001 in theater and 14 May 2020)

Brief Synopsis – Two snipers try to ferret each other out during the devastating days of the Battle of Stalingrad during World War II.

My Take on it – Really boring film that just doesn’t work at all.

Both Ed Harris and Jude Law are great actors but one wouldn’t know it by watching their performances here.

This is a slow burning cat and mouse tale that does absolutely nothing along the way to make us care about the situations of these characters or about the story itself.

They do manage to make us feel as if we are in war torn Stalingrad during the siege and this helps take the viewer on a journey back in time and makes us feel as if we are right there with these characters during these very trying times for them.

Unfortunately, even with a very strong supporting cast that includes Joseph Fiennes, Rachel Weisz, Ron Perlman and Bob Hoskins, they never seem to find a way to make us care about these events or for that matter anything these characters do.

Bottom Line – Such a boring film that fails to work on any level. Harris and Law are both amazing actors, but one wouldn’t know it from watching this slow burning cat and mouse tale that goes absolutely no where and doesn’t give us any reason to care about either of the characters. The one thing that is done so well here is the way that they are able to make us travel back to this time and place and make us believe that we are right there with them during the very turbulent days of this battle which helped turn the tide of the war.  Even with Fiennes, Weisz, Perlman and Hoskins in supporting roles, this film never manages to make us care enough about what is happening at any point.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The film depicts Zaitsev as a bit of an unschooled simpleton, from some backwater part of the country, but who knew how to shoot a rifle. In reality, Zaitsev was an educated man, and had worked for five years as an accountant in the Russian navy stationed in the Pacific before joining the army. (From IMDB)

Rating – Razzie Worthy (3/10)


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