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Enough, Already

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Enough (R)
Columbia Pictures

British director Michael Apted (7-Up, Coal Miner's Daughter) must be going through a dry spell to take on this stinker project. Disguised as a feminist revenge flick in which a battered woman is empowered to fight back at her abuser, Enough disintegrates into a martial arts showcase with enough graphic violence to make any feminist -- male or female -- queasy.

Slick Hollywood production values combine with big-name (Jennifer Lopez) star power here, resulting in a cinematic kickboxing fest with little socially redeeming value in spite of its very pertinent theme. Screenwriter Nicholas Kazan apparently wanted to weigh in on the domestic abuse debate over laws that protect abusers from arrest and conviction until after they've injured or possibly killed their prey. Unfortunately, he chooses to turn the victim into a fighting machine who takes the law into her own hands, meeting threats of violence and actual violence with violence ratcheted up a notch.

Jennifer Lopez demonstrates her physical agility but little of her often-charming acting ability in Enough. She plays Slim, a working-class girl who is saved from a life of financial struggle by wealthy Mitch (Billy Campbell) who, after five years of marriage and the birth of their child (Tessa Allen), turns violent when Slim confronts him with her knowledge of his extramarital affair. Slim packs up her little girl and leaves Mitch with the help of her best friend Ginny (Juliette Lewis) and her former boss Phil (Christopher Maher), but everywhere she runs, Mitch finds her. Finally, after several name changes and a string of new addresses, Slim decides that the only way to assure her future without Mitch is to confront him directly. She learns a particularly effective martial arts technique and determines that the next time he steps out of line, she'll be the one to deliver the blows.

Billy Campbell, who's best known as Sela Ward's sensitive squeeze in the recently cancelled television series Once & Again, plays creepily against type here, and is fine until the end of the movie when he's required to go completely psycho. Sorry, he's just too pretty to be effective. And Noah Wyle (Dr. John Carter of TV's ER) seems oddly miscast as one of Mitch's evil henchmen.

Enough spends most of its time following J-Lo and the kid from one new temporary address to another, then watching them sprint for safety when Mitch catches up to them. When the ultra-violent kick-ass climax finally comes, we've become bored with the repetitive scenario. Satisfaction is not so much sweet success and feminist triumph but relief that the film is finally over. Enough is enough.

-- Kathryn Eastburn

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