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YMMV / Enemy Mine

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  • Award Snub: Roger Ebert and other critics felt Louis Gossett Jr. deserved an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor, having to act convincingly under a crapton of prosthetic makeup. In addition, the film's visual effects, makeup effects that helped create the Drac race, and screenplay writing did not get nominations either.
  • Awesome Music: One of Maurice Jarre's best.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: Chapter 15 of the novella has a lengthy exchange between Davidge and Zammis where the latter, at barely a year old, starts discussing philosophy in a very heady and wordy manner that leaves Davidge flummoxed. It's especially odd since Zammis couldn't have learned the concepts and vocabulary from anyone other than his Uncle, and the whole exchange seems like a complicated setup for a "Descartes before the horse" dad joke. After this, Zammis never displays such ludicrously advanced intellect in the story again.
  • Fashion-Victim Villain: The Dracs wear flimsy robes that look like they were made out of black trash bags. The cheapness and weirdness of their costumes is only further contrasted with the elaborate make-up and prosthetic required to wear by their actors.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Fyrene VI is in the middle of an Asteroid Thicket, which is why there's so many meteor strikes. It's also why it would make an excellent mining outpost, since those meteors would have tons of rare metals.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • Both Dennis Quaid and Brion James appearing in this movie is interesting considering both actors would later be involved in the Superman media. Quaid, who plays a human character who finds himself fostering an alien child, was one of the considerations to play Jonathan Kent (who also fostered an alien child who would grow up into who we all know and loved) in Man of Steel before losing to Kevin Costner who ultimately took the role, while James, who plays the Big Bad who is part of a team of miners who loved to suck dry planets of their resources and act as a threat to Quaid's character and his adopted alien child, would later voice the energy-sucking supervillain and one of Superman's rogues gallery the Parasite in Superman: The Animated Series up to his death in 1999 where afterwards the Parasite would be taken over by The Other Darrin Brian George in Justice League.
    • Future voice actor Bumper Robinson plays Drac alien Jerry's child Zammis in a sci-fi film that involves themes of humans and aliens working together and Fantastic Racism. Robinson would later be known to younger viewers as the voice of Rook in Ben 10: Omniverse, which the general premise involves the human character Ben being partnered up with Robinson's alien character and features some episodes involving the Forever Knights, who bears Fantastic Racism against anything alien.
  • Ho Yay: Although Dracs are an asexual race, it's hard to keep yourself from the idea that Davidge and Jerry are gradually beginning to look like a loving couple with typical gender roles and family debate. Lord, later they even have a child. Hilariously lampshaded when Davidge learns of Jerry's pregnancy:
    "But how did you— who did...? *Beat* Well, don't look at me!"
  • Nightmare Fuel:
    • The aforementioned Pit Fiend is incredibly creepy, and is a constant threat even outside their pit traps.
    • Davidge nearly falling victim to said monster. We've already seen that the creature's long, ropelike tongue/feeler is very bad news, but Davidge has no idea what he's looking at as it probes nearby to locate its prey, as a mysterious and sinister leitmotif plays. Then it grabs Davidge and tries to pull him under; the awful bleeding from his ensnared leg and his terrified cries for help leave no doubt that death by Pit Fiend would be a horrible way to go, but Jerry thankfully comes to the rescue just in time.
    • The opening effectively sets the tone of War Is Hell, with the frozen corpsicle of a human pilot whose fighter was shot up, drifting through space.
  • Retroactive Recognition: Rook was Zammis.
  • Special Effect Failure:
    • Despite Industrial Light & Magic's involvement with the film, the visual effects are a mixed bag. While some of the models and the matte painting effects are decent for mid-1980s standards, others look really atrocious and far from the quality ILM is usually known for. Part of these issues stems from the film's Troubled Production and budget issues.
    • The crash landing on Fyrine IV is very clearly accomplished by miniatures with a very shallow depth of field exposing them for what they really are.
    • The dogfight suffers from some very shoddy optical compositing with some of the ship explosions appearing transparent over the background.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Upon being found by military, Davidge is taken for a Drac turncoat by higher ops. This is never brought up for anything and instantly ignored, just skipping over all of it. The very next scene has him stealing a ship, while damaging a military installation. Which also goes nowhere. All of which could be used as another layer of anti-prejudice and anti-war message the story is clearly about. But instead, we've got a prolonged sequence in "enemy mine", which then directly cuts to being rescued by fellow human pilots. Willis seems to have some serious Hero Insurance.
  • Ugly Cute: Zammis. Dracs are somewhat scary-looking by human standards, but his innocence and naivete make him totally adorable. Davidge describes him as "an ugly little cuss", but warmly admits he isn't much worse than some of the baby pictures he used to see in the mess hall.
  • Unintentional Period Piece: For being a movie set in the end of the 21st century, there is something that in real life would be outdated by a century, as Davidge mentions in the football scene the Houston Oilers, which moved to Nashville in 1997 and two years later got their current name of Tennessee Titans, while Houston in turn is home of the Texans since 2002.
  • Values Resonance: The film's anti-war and anti-racism themes are just as relevant now as they were in 1985.
  • Viewers Are Morons: The movie was apparently forced to include a subplot about their enemies operating a mine, on the basis that people wouldn't understand the title could be rephrased as "My Enemy", and would want to know where the mine was.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: All over the place, from the shots of outer space, to the very convincing alien world of Fyrine IV, to the excellent Drac makeup effects by Chris Walas that nicely averted Rubber-Forehead Aliens and made Lou Gossett Jr. and the other actors completely unrecognizable underneath them.