Starring Gabrielle Union, Billy Burke, Richard Cabral, Ajiona Alexus, Levi Meaden, Seth Carr, Mark Furze, Jason George, Christa Miller, Damien Leake
Directed by James McTeigue
2018 / 88 Minutes / Universal Pictures
Review by Brent
Gabrielle Union plays a mother fighting to protect her family during a home invasion in the new thriller Breaking In. Pretty basic stuff here. So basic that I’m not quite sure why this made it to theatres. This could have easily gone straight to iTunes or Netflix. However, where it really feels at home is on Lifetime or some basic cable channel. I guess the chance to cash in on the Mother’s day weekend is a bonus for this movie, but I can’t really see mom’s racing to see this not so feel good movie.
Breaking In is one of least suspenseful thrillers I’ve seen. There’s very little character development in the beginning and we’re thrown into this without much of a background story. It shows up later, but in the meantime I’m supposed to care about these people? The movie starts and we’re suddenly all in. I almost felt as if I was walking into a movie that I missed the first 10 minutes of. I don’t care about these characters and I don’t just mean Union and her family but these ridiculous bad guys that are laughable the moment they appear on screen (and not in a good Home Alone way). They are stereotypical thriller bad guys that we’ve come to expect in movies like these and there’s always one that’s going to be the overbearing, unstable one. You couldn’t write this stuff… because it’s already been written a hundred times before and better, in the 80’s and 90’s.
I like Gabrielle Union, she deserves much better roles than this. Unfortunately her performance is not great. The entire cast is pretty weak, but the blame goes to the terrible screenplay that spends most of the time trying to trick the audience. Just when you think everything is good, something happens to keep this movie going another 10 minutes. I was surprised to learn this movie was only 88 minutes, because it feels a hell of a lot longer.
The tiny bonus points go to the somewhat entertaining moments that pop up throughout. The last 15 minutes have some thrilling scenes, but more in a funny “I can’t believe I’m still sitting here watching this ridiculous movie”. So there are times where you might find yourself having some fun with this.
Home invasion movies can be fun and entertaining if done right. They made tons of movies like this in the late 80’s and early 90’s, but a lot better. Today audience pay so much for an evening out at the movies that they deserve more than this! I’d rather sit at home and watch the old thrillers of the 90’s like Hand That Rocks the Cradle. There’s a place for movies like these now and when they’re done like this, that place is at home on your TV, not on the big screen.