Breaking In Review (2018)
SHOULD YOU WATCH IT?: NO, BUT YES
IMAX?: NO - 3D?: NO - MID-CREDITS?: NO - POST-CREDITS?: NO
Setting up the story with a tragic accident, Breaking In sees Shaun Russel (Gabrielle Union) and her two children make the long trip to a family-owned home that requires preparation to be sold. Upon arrival, various pieces of evidence begin to paint a very specific picture: this is no ordinary house. Given the stressful nature of the events that led to her being there, as well as the alluded to backstory that frame not only her mindset in this place but the film’s story itself, it doesn’t take much to get into the heart of the film. As we’ve all seen in the trailers, there are people who want something, either from her or something in the house. By happenstance, her children are caught inside the house while she’s trapped outside of it. The movie revolves around the love, strength and will of a mother who just wants to protect that which is most important.
At just under 90 minutes long and a paltry 25% on Rotten Tomatoes (as of this writing), it would be easy to overlook this one and save it for Netflix and Chill. On the one hand it’s a by-the-numbers home invasion thriller that’s somewhere between Hostage (Bruce Willis) and your average Tyler Perry flick. On the other hand, Gabrielle Union proves to be a believable leading lady in the film and completely makes up for some head-scratching decisions behind the pen and camera. Of course, one of her children in the movie is a teenager, so there’s that rebellious, angsty, garbage to deal with, but it doesn’t take up much of the film and doesn’t take away from it either. Directed by James McTeigue and written by Ryan Engle, one has to wonder what it took to get this to the screen. This won't be used in a positive light in any seminars or courses in the foreseeable future. Oh, and clichés. All of them.
The antagonists are the basic crew of criminals with various talents or information necessary for the crew to achieve their goal. This is pretty routine stuff with the crew leader, Eddie (Billy Burke) giving the only decent performance in the bunch. One of the other crew members, Duncan (Richard Cabral), is pretty bad. His acting was awful. The motivations were awful. The decisions were awful. Normally I wouldn’t have you spend money on this, but catch a matinee viewing. Or get yourself a MoviePass and see it when you’re bored before it leaves the theater. We need our black leading men and women to shine and if their movies don’t make money, they don’t get roles in the future, so take this L. Yea, I know. Still though.