Thursday, May 17, 2018

Movie Review: "Breaking In" (2018)

Director: James McTeigue
Year: 2018
Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 1 hour, 28 minutes

A woman who is preparing her father's estate for sale has her kids taken hostage by home invaders looking for a safe in the house that is supposed to contain four million dollars. She is now forced to fight back to save her kids. 
"Moms don't run, not when their babies are trapped in the nest." (Image Source)
Super-mother powers activate! "Breaking In" is directed by James McTeigue, who is known for directing films like "The Raven," "Ninja Assassin," and "V for Vendetta." This project is written by Ryan Engle, who has penned other movies like "Non-Stop," "The Commuter," and most recently, "Rampage." It stars Gabrielle Union as Shaun Russell, a woman who has recently inherited a large estate from her estranged father who, it turns out, was a white-collar criminal. Shaun and her kids Jasmine and Glover (Ajiona Alexus and Seth Carr) head up to his large country home that is isolated on 25 acres of land in Wisconsin to prepare it for sale. The house is built like a fortress. It has all kinds of security upgrades, which seem to be useless because right before arriving, four men broke into the house. When Shaun and her kids show up, their arrival derails the plans of the intruders. These home invaders take Shaun's children hostage and lock her out of the house so they can continue their quest to find a hidden safe and the four million dollars that's apparently stored inside of it. Desperate to save her kids, Shaun will do whatever it takes to protect them.
"Fear I can manage. Desperation is a whole different thing." (Image Source)
Many of the films listed in the above paragraph are ones we have thoroughly enjoyed. "Rampage" was super fun, and who doesn't like to see Liam Neeson kicking ass and taking names? This sentiment goes double for "V for Vendetta," which we absolutely love. We also like Gabrielle Union as an actress and think she has done many good things in her career. Because of these factors, we have to wonder what went so wrong while making "Breaking In." It could have something to do with the paper-thin plot and completely underdeveloped characters. We really don't know all that much about Shaun or about how her relationship with her father soured beyond a couple of casual "you got out of a bad situation and turned lemons into lemonade" types of comments. We also don't have any fuckingreaking idea how Shaun is able to consistently out-fight someone who is clearly ex-military (or so we gathered from the dog tags he wore around his neck). It could also be the use of the tired old cliche where criminals take hostages and regularly threaten their lives without any intention of actually following through on their threats, or how the criminals only intend to stabby-rip-stab-stab when the plot conveniently needs them to do so. Maybe it's the fact that the house is loaded with security equipment that the White House probably doesn't even and yet it doesn't seem to be helpful at all. There are 18 million cameras, but none of them ever actually see anybody. There are motion detectors in each room that only catch one of the six people present inside the walls of the sprawling house, and it's only when the story needs the motion of one person to be detected that this device is actually necessary. These may sound like nitpicks, but these issues genuinely bugged us to the point that it took us out of the film. These annoyances suck the tension right out of this "thriller."
"This goes way beyond a break in." (Image Source)
"Breaking In" is less than 90 minutes long and it drags on and on and on and gets so repetitive that we couldn't wait to leave the theater. This is a very tame and mostly dull PG-13 rated film that rarely delivers any excitement or fun. Everyone who was part of this project clearly took it way too seriously. So many of the things the characters do are eye-rollingly dumb on both sides of the equation that we found ourselves not caring if the crooks got the cash or if Shaun saved her kids. It's a shame because we know Gabrielle Union is capable of better than this.
"From the moment your mom died, you were on your own." (Image Source)
We will say that we didn't absolutely hate watching "Breaking In," but the longer it went along its runtime, the more we regretted being in the theater to witness its myriad of small disasters.

My Rating: 3/10
BigJ's Rating: 3/10
IMDB's Rating: ~4.9/10
RT Rating: ~25%
Do we recommend this movie: AVOID LIKE THE PLAGUE!!!

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