Starring Gabrielle Union, Billy Burke, Richard Cabral, Ajiona Alexus, Levi Meaden, Seth Carr
If you ever wanted to know what David Fincher’s Panic Room might look like as a made for television movie, look no further. From the director of bargain bin movies like The Raven (remake) and Ninja Assassin, James McTeigue brings his talent for bad cinema to the desperate-vengeful-black mom genre, which has until know, only starred Halle Berry. Gabrielle Union (Think Like a Man Too, Good Deeds) has built a career on roles that require her to look pissed off. She gets to put that persona to use through this entire thriller, as mom who will do anything to protect her family. The script is penned from the same writer behind mainstream garbage Rampage and The Commuter, containing so many nonsensical lines and confused plot decisions, it becomes an unintended comedy.
Following the death of her estranged father, Shaun Russell (Union) drives back home to the elaborate estate to ready the property for sale. With her is teenager daughter Jasmine (Alexus) and young Glover (Carr). What was supposed to be a quick weekend trip, goes wrong within hours. Four men lock Shaun outside the highly sophisticated house, with the children inside, demanding to know where the safe is hidden. Shaun must outsmart the dangerous crew in order to save her family. Isolated in a rural part of Wisconsin, there is no where to go for help.
Isn’t interested in tapping new ground, simply delivering another familiar genre film.
The character development is highly questionable. Glover displays intelligence in one scene, expertly flying a drone around the mansion and accessing the highly sophisticated security system, while in the next he is saying “where is mommy” after his sister just explains she is locked outside. Breaking In isn’t the type of flick you want to think about too long, because surface level issues destroy any plausibility it might have. This is a PG-13 film, so nearly all the violence happens off screen, making it a perfect candidate for television movie repeats.
Billy Burke (aka the dad from Twilight) is a decent villain as far as danger goes, but his unpredictable sidekick Richard Cabral (Blood Father) is organically fighting. Neither of the antagonists or protagonists are developed much beyond the current events. As home invasion films go, Breaking In isn’t interested in tapping new ground, simply delivering another familiar genre film, just with a black lead this time. My problem with this is that it should be better, improved on, not mediocre and simply trying to cater to what producer’s think is a fad. The difference between intelligence on a thriller like Get Out and something like this, is eons apart.
Breaking In is a generic substandard thriller.