Sunday, May 25, 2003


A Video Review of "Enough"

Copyright 2003 Glenn Walker

Enough. Haven’t we had enough of this type of movie? I mean, we’ve seen this before, right? Husband beats wife, wife gets even. The Burning Bed and Sleeping with the Enemy did this before but Enough is a step up.

* Spoiler Warnings *

The movie is constructed well, the vignettes labeled with chapter titles in a way we don’t see anymore in feature films (well outside of Kevin Smith, that is). It does well to disguise how episodic Enough really is. This is a good thing, turning your disadvantages into advantages.

For the first hour we are sailed through an almost never-ending catalog of places and characters but as I said we don’t mind with the structure of this film. Like the villain of the piece, Enough is built like an action thriller even though it may or may not be.

The tough thing about a movie like this is you know going in that the husband is an asshole. It kind of takes all the suspense away. You can’t even bring yourself to like the character even when he’s the nicest sweetest thing you’ve ever seen. That said, Billy Campbell is properly evil as the abusive husband. He is as diabolic as any super-villain or world conqueror in a different genre of movie.

It doesn’t matter what Jennifer Lopez is in or what she’s doing, the camera loves her. Even here where we’re led to believe she’s ‘not that attractive’ it’s a tough suspension of disbelief call. It’s always nice to see Juliette Lewis in a part where she’s not mental. She’s rational, wrong-minded in some cases, but rational. Fred Ward is, well, he’s always Fred Ward, and he’s good for what little screen time he has.

The real surprise here is Noah Wyle of "ER" fame. He exudes that same Dr. John Carter charm we see every week and we get the impression that maybe he’s a one note actor. He turns out to be as evil and manipulative as his buddy Billy Campbell. It’s a great performance.

In the last twenty minutes or so after some belief-stretching Batman and James Bond-ian preparation and training J-Lo tries to get even with her husband. I have to stop at this point and wonder how much the writer, the director and even J-Lo wanted this to be a superhero movie. Hmmm…

Other than the obvious anti-domestic abuse and woman empowerment statements there’s also another lesson being taught here. Money and power can get you anything. Between the evil Billy Campbell and the good Fred Ward money is able to buy technology, training, surveillance and even police. Scary but true.

Whatever this movie wants to be or pretends to be one thing stands true – it’s good. Check it out. It’s worth it.

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