Breaking In

First Hit: The best part of the film was that the mother won.

As a suspense film it wasn’t great, however it definitely kept my interest and despite knowing the ending, Shaun Russell (Gabrielle Union) as the main character, gave the audience great intensity.

Shaun’s father Issac (Damien Leake), is a wealthy man who was being indicted in federal court for theft. Out for a run before going to court, he is killed by a truck driven by Sam (Levi Meaden).

Shaun, with her children Jasmine and Glover (Ajiona Alexus and Seth Carr respectively) go out to Issac’s country mansion to clean it up and removed things she may want before she sells it. This house is huge, far from the city and neighbors, and very high-tech.

However, upon reaching the house she suspects that something is wrong and soon finds out that four men are in the house looking for a safe. The killing of Issac, we learn, was planned so that Eddie (Billy Burke), Duncan (Richard Cabral), Peter (Mark Furze), and Sam could rob the home.

To leverage their power over Shaun, the leader Eddie, has the other 3 capture and hold her two children as hostages. The thieves’ hope is to leverage holding her children hostage for knowledge about the location of the safe.

There are several scenes where Shaun gets the better of her children’s’ captors. What didn’t work very well was Sam. In his role, although he tried to sound in control and menacing to both his work team and Shaun, there was a lack of strength and surety of his character. In other words he wasn't quite believable.

I think the house could have been used more as a character than it was. The amount of high-tech in the house and using it to trick or thwart the robbers could have made it more interesting, especially if the kids took control. They did a couple of times, but not enough to make it really stand out.

Union was strong as the mother you didn’t want to cross. She showed athleticism as well and intuitive intelligence in this role. Meaden was very good as the semi-reluctant thief although the idea to rob this home was originally his. Alexus and Carr were excellent as the children. They both created age appropriate interests and actions and the right amount of duress. Burke was good but there was one point in the film, I wondered why the other thieves didn’t just kill him and take over the robbery. Cabral was the best of the thieves. He show immense intimidating intensity. Furze had the smallest robber role and it was OK. Ryan Engle wrote a good script but, as I said, I would have like a better group of thieves and the house could have used more. James McTeigue did a good job of directing the actors in this script. It lacked a certain creativeness, but the film worked.

Overall: I like when the main character is rightfully and clearly driven to save the day, that it was a woman, a mother, made it better.