Friday, May 11, 2018

Breaking In - Review

Though options were limited this week, as studios stay far away from the Avengers: Infinity War box office dominance, the potential for a decent time at the cinema was still there. Even a bad film, particularly a bad thriller, can be fun if you let it, and Breaking In looked to be just that type of film. With a slight twist on a tired home invasion premise, the film had an uphill climb to start, and after an hour and a half runtime, didn’t emerge as anything noteworthy.

Shaun Russell (Gabrielle Union) takes her son and daughter on a weekend getaway to her late father's secluded, high-tech vacation home in the countryside. The family soon gets an unwelcome surprise when four men break into the house to find hidden money. After managing to escape, Shaun must now figure out a way to turn the tables on the desperate thieves and save her captive children.

There is not a thing original about the story behind Breaking In, then again, who really expected this film to be enthralling or engaging? It flips the home-invasion plot on its head, yet still maintains endless heaps of tropes or clichés that harms any chance of originality. With very little in the way of entertainment value, Breaking In becomes a slog in many ways, that thankfully ends after 90 minutes of mishandled twists and illogical actions.

If nothing else, the biggest positive takeaway from Breaking In is a somewhat good performance from Gabrielle Union. Though she receives absolutely no help from the writing, she is able to elevate the material somewhat and actually present something watchable. Everyone else is largely forgettable, filling typical roles that frequent films of this style and genre, including the never-ending list of bad decisions made by the antagonists as they stumble through this foiled plan.

And it isn’t as if this entire set-up was automatically doomed. The idea of getting back into your home after invaders enter is interesting, and presents a chance for something enjoyable at minimum. This botched affair instead delivers something droll and rather uneventful for 90 minutes instead, providing little reason to recommend the film as a whole, let alone spend money on it.

Overall, Breaking In is a film that somehow got lost on its way to January and found itself essentially dumped in May instead. It isn’t a crime against humanity as some early year releases are, but the end result is still not great, or good, or really even average. It’s a film that wastes an interesting idea by relying on a poorly written script and clichéd, illogical choices. A strong performance from Gabrielle Union elevates it slightly, but more than anything proves that she deserves a better film than this one. As an audience member, this is definitely a weekend to take off at the theater (or maybe a weekend to just see Avengers: Infinity War again).

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