Julien Neaves, Caribbean Head Writer
The enemy of my enemy is my friend.Ancient proverb
One may be familiar with the above quote, which means that if your adversary has another adversary the latter is automatically an ally. Someone who may not be familiar with this quote is Brooklyn Bond, director of 2016 Trinidadian supernatural crime drama Enemy Of My Enemy, because at no point does one of the warring gang factions ally with an individual or group that is in opposition to the other faction. And that is only one of the things that don’t make any sense in this movie.
Let me backtrack a bit. I am always on the hunt for Caribbean content for my Cariwood Wednesday (celebrated weekly on the Red Mango Reviews FB page, like and follow). So when I saw Enemy Of My Enemy racked up an impressive 1.1 million views on YouTube I thought I would see what all the fuss was about. I was expecting a generic Trini gangster flick and hoping for something as entertaining as Welcome to Warlock. And while the film starts as a straightforward, if disjointed, low budget gangster crime drama it takes such a sharp left turn into the supernatural that I got whiplash.
This film feels like it was made by someone with only a vague idea of how movies are made. We start with some picturesque shots of Maracas Beach and meet gang remember Redo and his blunt girlfriend. You’d assume Redo is the protagonist, especially when he unwittingly escapes a possible attempt on his life. But you would be wrong. While Redo appears several times thereafter it is for very quick scenes. He barely has any screen time and nothing resembling an arc. He is part of a gang controlled by “Old School” who are being threatened by a gang led by a young upstart called the “Pepper Boys” (sounds delicious, right?).
We have the usual with these low budget gangster flicks: super obvious product placement; meandering plot threads; stilted acting and rough dialogue (little profanity); poor audio; characters introduced with little context; obligatory club scene; fake looking guns ridiculous looking gun flash, smoke and fire effects. There is surprisingly little action until the last 25 minutes, but when it happens it is gloriously bloody and the tense music is well done. There is also a decapitation scene that made me buss out laughing.
Things get crazy when a random character brings his obeah practicing grandmother into the action. This leads to her summoning a hilariously poorly rendered bat demon angel thing and the film becomes a horror for like ten minutes before ending anticlimactically. I was like, “What the hell is happening?” Yeah, Enemy Of My Enemy is an awful film that frequently goes into “so bad it’s good territory”. So turn it on and just let the schlock wash over you.
Score: 4 out of 10
Julien “Editor Jules” Neaves is a TARDIS-flying, Force-using Trekkie whose bedroom stories were by Freddy Krueger, learned to be a superhero from Marvel, but dreams of being Batman. I love promoting Caribbean film (Cariwood), creating tabletop games and I am an aspiring author. I say things like “12 flavours of awesome sauce”. Read more.
You can watch Enemy Of My Enemy for yourself by clicking here. And you can check out more Caribbean gangster content below: