Breaking In Review

Breaking In

Breaking In is an action thriller starring Gabrielle Union who plays Shaun, a protective mother who takes her two charming children on an idyllic weekend road trip to her recently deceased criminal overlord father’s secluded estate to arrange for its sale.

Matters soon take a turn for the ominous as it transpires that the house appears to have been secured with fortifications robust enough to withstand a thermonuclear turf war.

Shaun, who had become estranged from her father before his murder, is happy for the kids to wander the moodily lit hallways of a home owned by a gangster who has recently been on the wrong side of a cold-blooded execution in broad daylight. Perhaps misguidedly overlooking that a more orthodox loving mom may perhaps think twice before whisking her beloved offspring to a place where they may encounter the slightest element of threat to their wellbeing.

In a happy accident of timing, the local law enforcement have also all been given the weekend off from monitoring the premises in the expectation of reprisal activity or as part of any investigation which may be taking place. It’s not as if Papa has also left a large stash of used crime coupons hiding in a safe or anything.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, the house is broken into by a collection of meanies slightly less intelligent then the criminal masterminds who carried out a series of infamous botched raids on that nice McCallister family’s home those five times back in the late eighties and early nighties.

Shawn then conspires to get herself locked out of the house with the children trapped inside and held captive by the baddies as they try to locate the safe, crack the code, slaughter an estate agent and make off with all of the lovely money.

Which is about all that I can be bothered to explain to you plot wise except to say that although Breaking In is passable enough as an enjoyable distraction and whilst Union is excellent in the Macualey Culkin role it really offers very little else.

Directed by James McTeigue, Breaking In is a pedestrian and lazy collection of clichés stitched together to form an often implausible movie. One might suspect that it has been created out of a focus group consisting of jaded film industry wonks in their forties who have been kept awake all night by their crying offspring

It’s easy to imagine an initial meeting between two dead eyed movie executive fathers enjoying an artisanal coffee in a smart LA suburb;

‘Let’s make a film like Panic Room or maybe Room but definitely not like Panic. However instead of having the hot mum escape from a secure room, this time she’ll have to break in to rescue her children’.

‘Perfect! get it made we shouldn’t need more than 10 million bucks, I’ve got an hour before Hunter’s mini league game starts, pass me the cocaine Harvey lets go rent a hooker each…’

Perhaps the most positive thing the film achieves is to somehow find itself driven by a storyline that is as shackled to reality as a Sarah Huckabee Sanders press briefing is faithful to the truth: yet at the same time manage to be so entirely predictable.

Although that could well be a case of damning with faint praise.

Frank Gardiner

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May 2018
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