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Review: Breaking In

Breaking In
6 10

PLOT: A woman must try and save her children from a group of deadly home invaders.

REVIEW: There are times when a movie is very aware of what it is trying to do. BREAKING IN is one of those movies. In the poster of the film the focus is clearly on Gabrielle Union looking bruised and pissed off, with the perfectly timed quote “Payback is a Mother” - perfect for Mother’s Day weekend folks. That poster is pretty much what you get, a PG-13 flick about a victim fighting to save herself and her children from ruffians looking to rob the place. When it comes to an original plot or idea, you won’t find that here. But what you will find is a decently paced, tidy little thriller with a couple of solid performances from Ms. Union as well as her co-star Billy Burke - once again he is playing the villain.

After her father is viciously murdered in a hit and run, Shaun Russell (Gabrielle Union) brings her two children (Ajiona Alexus and Seth Carr) on a trip to her childhood home in preparation to sell her father’s estate. Once they arrive, they discover that dear old dad went a little overboard with security and other gizmos. All of that comes into play when four thugs show up looking for a secret stash of millions of dollars. However, the home invaders - Eddie (Billy Burke), Duncan (Richard Cabral), Sam (Levi Meaden) and Peter (Mark Furze) - have a fatal flaw in their plans; they messed with a pissed off mother trying to protect her kids.

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BREAKING IN isn’t anything new when it comes to revenge flicks. It is very predictable, and it even features one kill that is so obvious that it lacked any sort of suspense. You also have the good old PG-13 rating which limits the on-screen violence - although there are a couple of intense moments. That said, I feel like even the filmmakers were having a bit of fun with the rating. Generally the use of the word “f*ck” is limited with this rating, so at one point one of the villains actually says “freaking” to substitute it. It’s a laughable moment, yet it kind of works later on when we get to hear Ms. Union use it before she is about to make someone’s day really bad. I guess if you are going this rating route, might as well have some fun with it.

The big sell here is Gabrielle Union; and she certainly does sell it. The actress - who is also one of the film’s producers - is terrific here, as are her young co-stars. The family dynamic keeps the viewer invested, even though you can tell early on that the film is going to play it a little safe. However, since you do care and you want them to fight off the baddies, it’s a bit of a blast to watch her go after the criminals in occasionally inventive ways. You also have to give props to young Alexus here, as the actress has the opportunity to play hero herself.

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As for the antagonists, you really can’t beat Billy Burke when he takes on the dark side. The actor manages to give his characters a nasty edge with a little bit of charm. By downplaying his viciousness, he’s a lot more fun to watch as he begins to unravel when his victim doesn’t play by his rules. As far as his henchmen, Furze and Cabral are both effective, but I had the most fun with Meaden. The actor is the “sympathetic” one who may do the right thing, and the characters bleach blonde dopiness is sort of charming. The criminals may not be the brightest, but they at least gave Union a somewhat easy and entertaining target.

BREAKING IN is a silly, but enjoyable excursion that doesn't quite go full camp, but it really doesn’t need to. You have a strong and fierce leading lady ready to turn the tables on the robbers who mean to do her and her family harm. Gabrielle Union is believable as a mom desperate to protect her children, and Billy Burke is perfectly despicable as the jerk making her life hell. If you want a decent time waster of a movie and you are a fan of Gabrielle Union, this may be a must see. And if the wife or girlfriend convinces you that this is the Mother’s Day movie they want to enjoy this weekend, at least you should have a pretty good time as well.

 

Source: JoBlo.com

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