Reviews: Lila & Eve

Davis and Lopez want blood. I just want my money back.

"Vi, I just want my career back."
Perhaps the two strangest things about Lila & Eve are that it stars a thriving Viola Davis and a washed up Jennifer Lopez in a direct to video movie. This off kilter female empowerment film is produced by Lifetime and tells the story of two vengeful women that have lost their children to violence. Unmistakably, the film is a feminist throwback to earlier, better features like Death Wish, Ms. 45, and numerous other tales of people on a mission to harm those that have destroyed the peace and tranquility of their lives. Lila & Eve fails to ever capture the grit and seething energy that is needed to make an audience sympathize with the main characters as it never fully realizes raw emotion. 

Where Davis succeeds in amplifying this short sighted movie in the dramatics department, the use of Jennifer Lopez and her non-talents drag this thing through the mud. Every scene with Jenny from the block feels forced and hampered by her disinterest in being convincing. Playing Davis and Lopez together is a mismatched, uneven, and tenuous affair that leaves the career of a former a-lister even deeper in the dirt. If The Boy Next Door wasn't proof of Lopez's falling star, this straight to streaming Lifetime movie leaves her in a dark hole she may never climb out of. You can feel how hard she's trying here and it's unconvincing and way too forced. Placing her with the highly talented Davis, she's shown up at every turn, making her obvious failures as an actress even more omnipresent than ever before. 

"Didn't you see the sign?
 It said 'Talent to the left.
Washed up to the right'?
Aside from the issues with Lopez, Lila & Eve is extremely miscalculated. The story doesn't make sense, their actions are poorly conceived, and their plans for vengeance would have hailed a life time prison sentence long before the story wraps up. In real life, detectives are not as stupid as they're made out to be here. With just a few cool ideas thrown in to the mix, Lila & Eve remains at the expected level of mediocrity for a low budget vengeance flick. 

If they had stuck to more realistic scenes of gun play and hadn't spent so much time in grief counseling, this could have been far more enjoyable. If an actual actress had played Eve, there may have been a light at the end of the tunnel. Marred by unneeded scenes, unrealistic settings, and J-Lo's penchant for flat acting, maybe give this one a watch when it's free on Netflix. If the end of the movie doesn't make you say "What the f@!#?", I don't know what will. 

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