Enemy Mine (film)

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Enemy mine.jpg

An underrated 1985 Sci-Fi film adapted from the Barry Longyear novella The Enemy Papers.

And for the record, not actually the Trope Namer for Enemy Mine. The phrase predates the movie.

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Tropes used in Enemy Mine (film) include:
  • All Hail the Great God Mickey: Alien Jeriba Shiba assumes that Mickey Mouse is a great spiritual figure.
  • Bizarre Alien Reproduction: The Drac are parthenogenic, which means they self-fertilize. Watching Davidge helping the rather masculine Jeriba have a baby is more then a little surreal.
  • A Boy and His X: An Earth soldier and his parthenogenic reptilian alien adopted child.
  • Chekhov's Gun: The Fyrene Pit Fiend appears almost immediately after the crash, and repeatedly menaces both Davidge and Jerry. The turtle-like groundrunner, the Pit Fiend's first victim, also comes in very handly both as food and as a meteor shield.
  • Conveniently-Close Planet: Not only do they both crash on the nearby planet, but within walking distance of each others spacecraft.
  • Crazy Cultural Comparison: Early in the relationship, Davidge quotes, "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again." Jerry thinks he must have learned this from "great Drac teacher, Shizumaat." Davidge responds he learned it from Mickey Mouse, and Jerry assumes he was a "great Earthman teacher." They also have this with Shizumaat's book that has it's own version of "do unto others" and when Davidge comments on hearing it before, Jerry replies of course, since it's universal truth.
  • Curb Stomp Battle: The beginning fighter scene starts out as this but turns ugly when the Drac ambush the Alert squadron. Also pretty much every time Davidge faces off against the slavemaster.
  • Death World: Fyrene IV. If the predators and extremely powerful electrical storms don't get you, the periodic meteor showers will probably do the job.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Jerry has quite a sarcastic streak at times. "Where would you be without me, Jerry old buddy?" "Back. Home."
  • Disneyfication: The ending of the film is much more optimistic than the ultimately happy but rather more cynical ending of the original novella.
  • Enemy Mine: As noted above, not the Trope Namer; the movie was named for the phrase that named the trope.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Davidge and Jeriba have to cooperate if they expect to survive at all.
  • The Golden Rule: The alien's holy book has a version of the quote. Davidge remarks that the Bible has a similar quote. "Truth is truth."
  • Humans Are the Real Monsters: The Dracs tend to think so. They claim that the humans are actually the aggressors in the war. But the humans believe otherwise.
  • Humans Are Ugly: So says Jerry, at any rate.

"You... ugly... head."

    • Ironic Echo: Zammis says Davidge looks "terrible" after he's rescued.
  • Humanoid Aliens: The Drac have certain fundamental differences from human biology (most notably their reproductive cycle), but they're still bipeds with two arms and a head on top that does the talking.
  • Mister Seahorse
  • Mood Whiplash: Davidge, chasing after a groundrunner, falls headlong into a familiar looking pit, cussing a blue streak. Slapstick soon turns to horror, though, when the resident Pit Fiend's tongue appears and begins seeking him out...
    • An even more drastic one: the meditative sunset scene with Jerry and Davidge is interrupted by another lethal meteorite storm; they barely make it back to shelter, and amidst the continuous roar of the impacts around them, they're almost immediately at each others' throats...
  • Mugging the Monster: Davidge attempts to sneak-attack both Jeriba (to steal his supplies) and the slavedriver (to rescue Zammis). To say the least, neither ends well.
  • Narrator All Along: The narrator turns out to be the elder Drac in the slave camp.
  • Nicknaming the Enemy: Dracs are called "lizards" by humans.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Louis Gossett Jr. has much less screen time than his position on the cast list might imply. A lot of the movie involves Davidge and Zammis after Jeriba has died.
  • One-Gender Race: There are no male Drac or female Drac, as each Drac is both male and female at the same time.
  • Papa Wolf: (Never mess with Zammis, Ever.)
  • The Power of Friendship
  • Pronoun Trouble: Jeriba is referred to as "it", rather than "he" or "she", because all Drac are male and female at the same time.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Both played straight (the Drac are loathed by humanity and personally by Davidge in the beginning) and subverted, as Davidge becomes friends with Jerry, and ultimately raises his child.
  • Truly Single Parent: The drac parental lineage is truly linear, since they are self-fertilizing like some terrestrial reptiles. In the words of the novella, "Don't tell a drac to boff himself, because he probably will!"