If you remember anything about this new to Netflix action-thriller Breaking In, it will be Gabrielle Union’s performance. Despite a solid cast for the simplistic wannabe Panic Room, Breaking In forgets to bring anything we haven’t seen before.
The story begins with an opening sequence that should have been an opportunity to commence a wide-scale investigation. Instead, the idea is that a man being hounded by the FBI is a closed case after his death. Isaac had liquidated his assets and is no more than a passing conversation between the four men who arrived to find the cash. If watching Breakin In you need to be willing to not apply any type of property law to the storyline. In fact, just forget the law in general. Then you will be fine. It’s also useful to suggest that waiting for a backstory for anyone of interest is futile because it simply is not going to happen.
Breaking In Might Have a Few Plotholes
With some plotholes aside, the film takes Gabrielle Union and fires her into the role of Shawn. A mother, desperate to save her two children from would-be burglars. Instead of mourning Isaac, her father, she is quick to settle his estate. She arrives with her kids Glover and Jasmine in tow. Her father’s home is a sprawling high-tech security wonderland. It’s filled to the brim with all the fancy bells and whistles you could imagine. In fact, even though this film has little to do with the previously mentioned Panic Room, the entire house almost serves as one.
Breaking in sets up some props dutifully showing a handheld motion sensor control system for the house, a fancy drone, and some pretty cool window shutters. A remote location with surrounding woodlands which also just happens to be close enough to order a pizza. The perfect place to hold a siege is one that is far enough away to make no escape yet close enough to take a morning run along pathways and traffic.
The baddies here are a typecast bunch, of ex-criminals lead by the guy who doesn’t want anyone to get hurt, Sam. Sam is played by Levi Meaden, and as a whole, the casting should have been a true highlight for Breaking In. But the dialogue and failure to create reputable interest in characters cause the movie flounder. The lead baddie, Eddie (Billy Burke) has the embarrassment of repeating the same context over and over about the mother hen returning to her nest in due time. We get it, mother duck is not going to leave her ducklings and seek out external aide. Shawn will be around to stir up trouble and make her own rescue attempt. And she does. Filmmakers threw in the always welcome Richard Babral as Duncan who wields a large knife at every opportunity. Duncan is the guy that wants everybody to get hurt.
Cinematography is a tidy stream of tracking shots. Given the single location I really liked that aspect. It made the house seem even bigger than it was and easier to buy into some of the classic chase scenes later on. One on one fight scenes between Shawn and just about everyone on set could have been pulled back a little. If her back story had been somethin akin to being the Terminator, I wouldn’t have been all that suprised. The girl can take some knocks.
New on Netflix But Not A Complete Trainwreck
Breaking In is not an abysmal train wreck. However, with so many awesome home invasion movies around it’s hard not to want other filmmakers who try out this theme to do a better job. Smash hits like Hush, Don’t Breathe, The Strangers, You’re Next and many more will show you a much better time. But if you’ve seen them all and simply want something easy to watch, this one has that covered in spades.
I give Breaking In
2 better call an ambulance for Shawn, oh no wait, she’s fine out of 5
- Breaking in cast: Gabriell Union, Billy Burke, Richard Cabral, Ajiona Alexus, Levi Meaden, Seth Carr.
- Other movies you will have seen Gabrielle Unions age-defying face in: Bring it On, 10 Things I Hate About You & Bad Boys II.
- Directed by: James McTeigue. Written by: Ryan Engle and Jaime Primak Sullivan.