by Tim Gordon
This week in theaters, Gabrielle Union is a single mother, who, after the sudden death of her father, takes her two children, Glover and Jasmine, to his Malibu mansion in order to settle his estate in Breaking In.
Shaun Russell (Gabrielle Union) is going to her late father’s mansion after the death of her dad but at the mansion are four criminal convicts intent on finding the deceased’s safe and making off with its goods. They take Shaun’s children hostage and force her to get the money, but then she begins killing them off to save her kids.
This bare-bones premise where a strong, smart, resourceful mother and her kids are caught in the wrong place at the wrong time is similar to another thriller from earlier this year, Revenge. Without any formal training, Shaun holds her own with a group of career criminals who initially mean her no harm but grow agitated by her elusiveness.
The film elaborate secure fortress, that serves as the house in the film, acts as a supporting character due to the fact that its myriad of security features serve to move the story along. Despite giving us virtually no backstory on Shaun, we surmise that in addition to the house being her childhood home, her ferocious maternal instinct and need to protect her children can assists her overcoming sizable odds.
Directed by James McTeigue (V for Vendetta) and produced by Will Packer and Union, Breaking In at its core attempts to frame Union’s character as a regular everywoman who when threatened rises to the challenge like her male counterparts in similar stories to kick ass and protect those she loves. Union is solid using her physicality, guile, and smarts to take down a group of men with bad intention. Overall, this familiar tale breaks no new ground and gives Union an opportunity to break out of her customary dramatic staging but the film is nothing special but solid, nevertheless.
Check out the audio review, below.