When your life is threatened, you’ll do anything to save it, especially when your children’s lives are at stake. Breaking In utilizes the home invasion idea and spins it around where the victim has to break into the house when the villains are inside. It’s been done before in other films such as Panic Room and Hostage, both great movies and far better than this ill-fated and ultimately forgettable home-invasion thriller, even if Gabrielle Union is the lead actress.
It all begins with the death of her father. Shaun (Gabrielle Union) is handling her father’s estate and is planning on selling the house. All she’s needs to do is pack up a few things, sign some paperwork and be done with it. She brings her kids along to see the house for themselves. The setting is a secluded house in Wisconsin. It isn’t long before the kids are taken hostage by several men who are after something inside the house. This leaves Shaun outside unable to get in a house that is loaded with security features, cameras in every room, security lights, etc.
Eddie (Billy Burke) is the leader of this entourage and makes one thing clear: they are looking for a safe, and since they cut the phone lines, the security company will alert the authorities in ninety minutes — less than the length of this movie. We have the leader Eddie, the clueless Sam (Levi Meaden), the savage Duncan (Richard Cabral) and the one who can get them into the safe if it’s found, Peter (Mark Furze). It’s four versus one.
I’ll give this movie one thing; the marketing department did a fantastic job in promoting this picture. They did so in a way that they fool the audience into thinking this will be a true edge-of-your-seat thriller; it isn’t. First of all, “breaking in” isn’t a correct title. “Sneaking in” or “peek-a-boo” would’ve been better choices. Director James Mcteigue (Ninja Assassin and The Raven) has a flair for style, but this film features nothing of it. The house is nice but everything else is weak, especially the script by Ryan Engle (The Commuter). I believe that villains are just as important as the hero, maybe even more so because they are the reason for the hero’s actions. The villains spend more time looking for Shaun and talking about finding the safe instead of, well I don’t know, looking for it? And why are we given villains who are so stupid that they themselves know practically nothing of the house they are robbing!?
This whole movie is placed on the shoulders of Gabrielle Union, and sadly her skills as an actress deserve a much better script. Yes, Bad Boys 2 isn’t a great movie, but I loved watching her in that role better than one minute of this film. It lacks everything that a thriller needs: good villains (memorable at best), a sense of fear or thrilling moments, and a sense of style from its director.
Verdict 0 out of 5
It’s so sad to see Union and Burke struggle to work with the material that they’ve been given; when the material is good, they shine. I hope that most of the budget for this film went into their pockets because nothing works. Breaking In has a promotion that lies to moviegoers. You’ll be glad it’s over because at eighty-eight minutes, it felt like two and a half hours. It went back and forth to no avail and I was more interested in figuring out the color of the M&Ms I was eating than looking at this poorly realized movie. Gabrielle Union has the potential to be a great leading actress, but she needs good material and Breaking In sinks faster than a boulder hitting the pond. It lacks just about everything you could hope for in any decent thriller, I only hope that Union is back with something better than this drivel.