Normally, most women aren't particularly excited by movies about kicking ass. For some reason though, they love it when women beat the hell out of men. Jennifer Lopez' latest, Enough, wisely uses that predilection to manipulate women into theater seats, in a high energy tale of a battered wife's fight for survival.
But Enough doesn't jump right into ass kicking. Instead, it begins as a romance, in which Slim, played by Jennifer Lopez is wooed and won by a rich, all American boy. They carve out an idyllic existence and start a family. Eventually though, Slim figures out her life isn't all roses. In fact, her perfect husband (Billy Campbell) is a lunatic psycho who begins abusing her both mentally and physically. Desperate for escape, she flees their home, daughter in tow, and ends up on the run, from a mentally unstable husband with seemingly unlimited wealth and power.
I like the way Enough develops it's characters, through a series of extended, book-ended flashes, leading up to the revelation of "Slim's" husband's mental instability. The film only becomes more gripping as Slim grapples with the wreckage of her life and seeks escape from her husband's iron like grasp.
Predictable? Perhaps. But Enough does an admirable job of holding your interest throughout, as it builds to a final confrontation in which our battered wife heroine takes matters into her own hands in physical confrontation with her murderous husband. Jennifer Lopez handles it all rather smoothly, as her character is slowly backed into a corner, from which she can only strike out.
Three cheers for Noah Wyle (TV's ER), who has the guts to go totally against type and plays an admirably smarmy bad guy henchman. Actually, a pat on the back all around for the villains of Enough. Billy Campbell is GREAT as J-Lo's madman husband, his transition from loving husband and father to dangerous killer seems almost natural in Campbell’s hands.
The culmination is of course, the final fight between Lopez and Campbell, as "Slim" gets physical on her killer spouse. Though it was well done... and the choreography especially believable, I frankly found this less interesting than the build up that led to it. The story of her marriage's breakdown and subsequent flight easily overshadows, at least in my mind, the latter quarter of the film, which does an about face and wholly devotes itself towards “Slim’s” plan off attack.
Enough has little new to offer, except a sharp visual style and a wonderfully eerie tone. The message isn't really the best for the continued health of the modern husband. However, women watching will doubtless feel outrageously empowered and the rest of us might even have a good time with J-Lo's estrogen action flick.
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