ENOUGH. 2002

Director: Michael Apted

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl

Enough (2002) is an unpleasant film. Three-fourths of it show a woman (Jennifer Lopez) & her daughter (Tessa Allen) relentlessly stalked from one stolen identity to the next, & periodically badly beaten, by an abusive husband (Bill Campbell). He's a police officer who has managed to get the law on his side making his run-away wife look like a drug abusing loony rather than someone he intends eventually to murder.

The abject victim-ness of Lopez was simply not entertaining to me. Of course, the purpose of such relentless yuckiness is to back the character into a corner where it can be made to seem a reasonable & good idea to become a murderer as a better option than being murdered. But since she does not act in self defense but in a premeditated manner, even when it gets to the point of table's turning, only the most unthinking viewer could believe outright premeditated murder is heroic.

Stacking the deck 100% against the slimeball sociopathic husband is how the story justifies premeditated murder, with the philosophy that it is every woman's god-given right to protect herself & her child without restraint of society's laws. Indeed, in this unbalanced depiction of the serious issue of stalker husbands, boyfriends, or obsessive wackjobs, we're given to understand that the law protects exclusively stalkers & there is no recourse for a woman short of murder.

If that were ever true, then the script wouldn't've had to play the deck-stacking game, but could've told a realistic story of an inevitable & necessary killing. Instead the script cheats in every manner it can think of to make Lopez a hero for doing what in real life would rightly win her life in prison.

But, well, pretending that stalkers aren't a real problem requiring real solutions, but viewing it as just another piece of commercial junk defining itself solely as "a violent movie," in that case it's nice to see the woman win. If the script had at any time been able to confront the fact that it was evil vs evil rather than helpless good finally standing up for itself, I might've enjoyed it; but it's too damned dishonest.

Some viewers will no doubt be more easily manipulated than me. They'll feel so bad to see beautiful J-Lo getting the crap beaten out of her & striving valiantly to hide in a dozen clever ways, that by the time she goes to instant-fighter-school & learns to kill, we're totally on her side & ready to hip-hip-hurrah outright murder.

It would've been easier for me to swallow "murdering someone is good" as a theme in low-budget lame-brain exploitation film that's supposed to be stupid, but not in a film that pretends to seriousness & tries to disguise the fact that it's the same sleezy product but in an uptown suit of clothes.

Though the poster ad text insisted "Self defense is not murder," her act was not self-defense since she laid an elaborate plan to disguise the fact that she'd decided to straight-out kill the bastard.

Looking hard for anything praiseworthy, Noah Wylie (the wussy doctor in the television series E.R.) was unexpectedly creepily convincing as the sociopathic misogynist stalker's best friend & equally dangerous assistant. He almost upstaged Campbell as the primary bad guy.

The other good thing I can say about the film is that Lopez really looks muscular & is no bony weakling Barbi-type as too often seen in womens-revenge flicks. Then again, I was not convinced she could go from helpless housewife & mommy to ace martial artist capable of wupping a cop after a crash-course in self-defense.

And I can tell you frankly, I never for a moment believed this was such a well-planned premeditated murder that she'd surely get away with it. The fact that she hasn't a bruise on her in the end, but her slain husband looks like he was run through a sausage machine, would ring every one of those cops' bells. Until the ending, the cops & the FBI were completely on her crazy husband's side. Yet now that he's dead they're not going to look closely at how & why it happened? Nonsense.

Once someone decided to look, there were at least ten pieces pf evodence scattered around. A couple characters knew exactly what she was going to do ahead of time. They may have been smug about it, but they'd definitely become witnesses for the prosecution if it saved their own dumb asses. So any of this nonsense had actually happened, the real ending would've been our heroine shipped off to prison for twenty to life.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl

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