Enemy (2013) Review

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Enemy is a psychosexual thriller about a man who discovers his double. Much like French erotica thrillers from the 60’s, this movie is also about someone dealing with their own awakening sexuality and conflicting natures. The director, Denis Velleneuve, will once again cover the theme of personal duality and how it leads to self destructing natures in 2013’s Prisoners. The Enemy was originally adapted from a book by Jose Saramago called The Double. Saramago’s popular works often deal with devotion, faith, or absolute truths of characters, despite the consequences. All these themes could perhaps unravel the mystery of the Enemy. Surface level it could be another doppelganger thriller and there are simply two unique characters both played by Jake Gyllenhaal where one of the characters inevitably meet their untimely end. However, it seems more satisfying to believe this about a man whose double lives eventually over take the other. On one end we have a married teacher who is always making sure to call his mother. On the other hand, we have a man who lives out of boxes, frequents swinger parties, and is having an affair. Then there are the spiders. Their symbolism is to show that either the path to domestication or swinger parties will inevitably lead to being caught in the spider’s web. No matter his choice he will become prey to external forces.

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Warren Ellis’ Moon Knight

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Within six issues, Warren Ellis decided to bring Moon Knight back to something that reflected the original vision of Doug Moench. In particular, Ellis wanted to shift Moon Knight away from the awful multiple personality that had predominated much of Moon Knight’s character of recent years.
These six cerebral issues haunt the existence between the land of the dead and the living.
In issue four, Ellis commentary on death begins to take form and cast its macabre shadow beyond the comic book boarders and into our world. The surreal and psychedelic depictions in this issue question the setting of Moon Knight and whether or not any of the events taking place are actually happening.
Each antagonist Moon Knight faces is a twisted reflection of Mr. Knight. In the first issue, the first piece of new information Ellis gives is Moon Knight having an imaginary argument with Wolverine and Daredevil. Not only does this establish Moon Knight as an unreliable narrator, but also he believes he’s at odds with Marvel’s superhero community. This issue progresses to Moon Knight tracking down an ex Shield agent who had also been casted out of the organization. The antagonist tracks down and medically cannibalize his victims in hopes to make himself stronger and worthy of being an agent again. Who can better understand this morbid logic than the insane antihero who seeks redemption through his own insane acts?
Each issue begins with a piece of prose depicting the origin of Moon Knight. Marc Spector was a mercenary who did horrible things until one day he found himself left for dead at the feet of a Khonshu statue. Since the night Spector died, he has vowed to redeem his past transgressions. In issue two we are introduced to six seemingly unconnected people finishing up their business day. However, when each person falls victim to a sniper’s bullet, the story begins stitch itself into a single narrative. When Moon Knight begins the chase, the story collapses into a single narrative about a mercenary who took revenge on his former employers who left him for dead. Ellis bring this chapter to a poetic close. Although the distant projection of death is power, these weapons are never suppose to come back to punish their owners.
These parallels don’t become as blatant until issue three where Marc Spector fights specters haunting the streets of New York, or in issue six when Black Specter wants to become Moon Knights mirrored reflection. In order to defeat the specters, Mr Knight had to fully embrace the personification of death. In a brilliant and well paced fight, issue five is a Game of Death style plot showcasing Moon Knight defeating five floors of gangsters. By the issue’s conclusion, we see every action of Moon Knight’s has a cold and unstoppable finality.
In this series, we have drifted away from the multiple personality disorder. Instead Ellis had taken an eloquent and gothic approach to crafting a story about a man who was traumatized by his own actions. In order to cope and survive, he killed off Marc Spector and became Moon Knight or the personification of death itself. Like his ex lover said Marc Spector rather didn’t exist or never came back from the dead. Now, Because Mr Night still carries massive amounts of guilt and trauma, he views every villain as his own personal antagonist. Ellis’ has rooted Moon Knight once again and gave Brian Wood and other future writers plenty to work with.