HOLLYWOOD—Have you ever seen a good B-movie? Of course, you know what a B-movie is. It’s a flick that is not Oscar caliber, but so entertaining and somewhat silly that you find yourself so immersed in the narrative that nothing else matters. Look let me be clear the action-thriller “Breaking In” is not offering anything that we haven’t seen before in the home invasion thriller. So don’t go into the theater expecting to be blown away by this movie.
It takes all those typical troupes and tricks that appear time and time again in such flicks of the genre and just has new faces to entertain the narrative. At the forefront of the drama is Shaun Russell (Gabrielle Union) who returns to her childhood home after her father dies. This sets the stage to a group of intruders headed by Billy Burke to break into the home and abduct Shaun’s children in their quest to get their hands on a massive load of money. Does this sound familiar?
Yeah, I was instantly reminded of the thriller “Panic Room” starring Jodie Foster, Kristin Stewart and Forest Whittaker. I thought that movie had a ton more originality and the suspense in that flick was palpitating to say the least. “Breaking In” has some intense moments, but you never get the inclination that our protagonist is in any serious danger, the same goes for her children. There are those slight moments, but the movie does little to take the expected and turn things into the unexpected. Burke delivers a fun role as a villain who has no limits, but he actually does.
For reasons I cannot fathom I wanted to compare Eddie (Burke) to the role portrayed by Alan Rickman’s character Hans Gruber in “Die Hard.” The difference being Rickman delivered a level of charm and villainy to his character that Eddie fails to emit. Eddie is very one note; it works, but he’s not a character I will call one of the great villains of the home invasion genre.
The pacing works quite well with the movie thanks to director James McTeigue, who helmed the popular action-thriller “V for Vendetta” starring Natalie Portman. Things never move to slow that it causes a moment of boredom and I love that about this movie. Once things get moving, they continue moving until the film reaches its climatic moment between hero and villain.
Without a doubt Union carries this flick from start to finish and also tosses her hat into the ring as a producer for the film. Is “Breaking In” the best action thrill-ride I’ve seen in years? No, but it entertains for 90 minutes and provides the perfect escape for all the madness that surrounds us on a daily basis and because of that it gets my vote.