The Dallas Movie Screening Group

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Friday, May 11, 2018

Breaking In

As I said with my recent review for “Life of the Party,” this one has been done before and far better.

I could go on and name quite a few like 1967’s “Wait Until Dark” with a blind Audrey Hepburn stuck in an apartment holding killers at bay. More recent would either be David Fincher’s “Panic Room” (2002) or the Brice Willis-led “Hostage” (2005) in which are heroes are confined to a small space or setting.

Now with “Breaking In,” mom Gabrielle Union has to deal with some nefarious baddies of her own. Her mom, Shaun Russell has two kids with daughter Jasmine (Ajiona Alexus) and son Grover (Seth Carr). At one point, the pair is each kidnapped, thus setting up some lengthy exposition that really goes nowhere but on to the next set piece.

The pacing never really pulls one in, since a friend comes to visit, (realtor Maggie Harris (Christa Miller) but is quickly eliminated by one of the antagonists of the story.

In one piece of irony, Billy Burke returns to the bad guy role he displayed in Patrck Lussier’s “Drive Angry” in 2011. He is probably best known as Bella’s dad from the “Twilight” series of movies that were on display from 2008 to 2012.

Like the aforementioned “Panic Room,” new technology is displayed throughout this brief stint of a the too short movie. (The running time is 88 minutes.)

Union’s father in the movie was a tech nut, fitting the house with safe gadgets galore.

The opening scene is of interest, since it shows his Isaac character’s routine of the day, leading to his untimely demise.

Of course, the nods to new technology such as cell phones and drones are interwoven throughout the storyline.

Union looks and feels at home in the mom role.

The villains are just the right degree of menacing, with the aforementioned Burke the right degree of despicable notions and attitude.

The entire production feels lackluster from the word go. Part of the setting deals with one location: a house in the woods.

Director James McTiegue knows how to deal with confined settings, since he directed the watchable “V for Venddetta” (Grade: C+) in 2005. He also handled directing duties with 2009’s “Ninja Assassin” (C) as well as the little-seen “Survivor” (C-) in 2015.

My whole conclusion with this movie is just wait for the discount house, because honestly it is not worth the big bucks omne will spend at the first run theatre.

Grade: C-

(Review by Ricky Miller)

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