• 09 Jun - 15 Jun, 2018
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Reviews

Gabrielle Union plays Shaun, a mom of two – a boy and a girl – who takes the kids to her dad’s huge posh remote home after he is run over, and then murdered, during an early morning run. When Shaun gets there, the house is already broken into, and soon the children are taken hostage by four villains in search of some hidden loot.

As you may well expect, Shaun escapes, finds way to scuttle around the house and save her children, killing the bad guys at regular intervals (Billy Burke plays the gang’s leader, with a little too much calm-and-cool demeanor).

Screenwriter Ryan Engle (Non-Stop, Commuter) and director James McTeigue (V for Vendetta, Ninja Assassin, Raven), make a routine movie seem more routine than it needs to be. The tension mounts up well enough at times, but the limited, near negligible plot points, the monotonous pace, stereotypical characters and the okay-ish, unengaging acting pull the film down on its face.

McTeigue, who once showed potential with his breakthrough works (well, V for Vendetta at least) has slowly graduated into a pedestrian, clichéd, paint-by-numbers guy. The cinematography, especially the shot design, use of multiple camera angles, and the edit, tells any avid movie-watcher the amount of artistic faculty the filmmakers put into the endeavor.

This lack of overall imagination is an impediment main star Union tries her best to overcome; being the central character – and also the movie’s producer – Union is actually Breaking In’s sole saving grace.

Although I don’t like to make comparisons, Breaking In to me, is a low-budget, cut-down version of Trespass, starring Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman – and how much better that movie feels at this moment. Trespass wasn’t a hit, and Breaking In, budgeted at $6 million, is already past $40 million worldwide.

It could be Union’s star power, or the fact that female empowerment – especially with an African-American woman in the lead of an action film – is something that may resonate with the audience at this point in history. If you’re into the movement, watch Halle Berry’s Kidnap instead. •