Against All Enemies Image

Against All Enemies

By Perry Norton | April 1, 2024

Charlie Sadoff’s film Against All Enemies, a documentary about service members joining right-wing organizations, has many parts where the narrative clouds over. The first is the solemn assertion that The Proud Boys are classified as terrorists in Canada. That is horses for courses. Reactionaries often make the same point about Islamist organizations that are legal in the West yet outlawed in dictatorships in MENA. This reveals nothing, especially since Trudeau’s disposition to despotism has come to light.

Sadly, I finished watching this film wondering if Sadoff or co-writers Kenneth Harbaugh and Sebastian Junger would err on the side of locking up the Canadian truckers and Dutch and French farmers. In fact, this whole production feels like a plea to criminalize a great many people quickly. In that sense, it exhibits the kneejerk dynamics of the racists it is desperate to condemn. The topic is ill-defined. On the one hand, this is about January 6th. On the other, it’s a rambling investigation of service members being tempted into dubious organizations.

“…about service members joining right-wing organizations…”

As the 106-minute runtime ticked by, it felt simultaneously as if too much and too little attention to both topics was paid. The pieces on January 6th had raw power and captured the violence of the riot well but were marred by a partisan edge. The investigation into service men and their affiliations started off feeling like it was on to something. But it chewed up a lot of time to come to nothing, bar perhaps an opportunity or two for a few interesting talking heads to discuss their work.

“Trump’s rise to power goes against all our values” is the blunt position of Kristofer Goldsmith, CEO of Task Force Butler. You see a lot of this self-styled Nazi hunter. His organization is one of a number of nonprofits assembled here, with their bread perhaps buttered on one side. And as quickly as the mainstream press decried Sound of Freedom as “QAnon adjacent,” I found myself seeing most of the parties depicted in Against All Enemies as “Deep State adjacent.”

The main point is a call to expand recent, shaky anti-terror laws to cover domestic sedition. This type of legal overreach constitutes a cornerstone of totalitarianism this movie swears it fears. It seems very un-American. More than that, it is American anti-matter. The nightmare of similarly oriented hate speech legislation in Europe does not get appraised. No heed is given to how damaging it can be to indulge in cosmetic fussing with the legal pillars that constitute your country.

Against All Enemies (2024)

Directed: Charlie Sadoff

Written: Kenneth Harbaugh, Sebastian Junger, Charlie Sadoff

Starring: Kristopher Goldsmith, Stanley McChrystal, Kristofer Goldsmith, etc.

Movie score: 3/10

Against All Enemies Image

"…an entirely incompetent and partisan documentary, wasting its talents to stir mud..."

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  1. Alec says:

    This review is the perfect example of bothsiding. Supporting the continuation of democracy, the constitution and the rule of law in the USA is described as a “partisan edge” by Norton. No idea if he has a short memory or never paid attention in the first place, but 61 lost election lawsuits by Trumps fellow travellers, and violence and conspiracy madness of the 6 Jan insurrectionists all definitely happened.

  2. R.Wiley says:

    Sadly Mr Norton probably didn’t watch this terrifying docu….His partisan rambling missed the point……there you have it…
    He is the type of audience that can learn from it……

  3. Hugo Fukov says:

    “…an entirely incompetent and partisan review, just another trump hack blindly throwing mud like a headless chicken, wasting your time and mine. ” or is that you Don Jr???

  4. Jonty says:

    Reviewers should leave their bias at the door.

    Those who don’t have no business reviewing such films.

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