Breaking In’s plot premise is so thin its own scriptwriters and characters admit it in dialogue. Breaking In‘s events unfold when Shaun (Gabrielle Union) takes her children to her late, rich, criminal father’s house for the weekend to pack up the house; Shaun’s father got hit by a car on the night of his sentencing in a major case. While there, Shaun and her kids face off against four criminals on a mission to break in to the house, find her father’s safe, and steal the four million dollars that he is hiding. When Shaun is locked out of the house with her kids inside with the criminals, what will she do?
Seems familiar? It is. From Panic Room to The Purge the whole home invasion theme has been beaten to death with a bat ten years ago, and the film’s effort to stand out by having the house technologically designed to be safe is no exception. The film also tries to stand out with another theme: a mother doing all she can to save her children. This turns Shaun into an unrelatable superwoman like character, making her mind-numbingly corny.
Breaking In has so many plot holes in its premise that it is barely there. If Shaun is locked outside, she is free, and she can call the cops or get help. The film knows this is a major issue but it only puts a bandage on the deepest of cracks in the most crumbling of walls. The criminal’s mastermind Eddie (Billy Burke) must have repeated it a million times: “she will not go to the cops, we have her kids and mothers do not run away.” Just a news flash for the script writer, just because you sloppily address it over and over again, does not mean the issue will somehow disappear.
That is not only where the script went wrong; it is full of every cliché in the book starting from its motherly premise down to almost every spoken line. Gabrielle Union was the cornerstone of this film, somewhat holding it together; she was immersed in character, fit the fierce mum criteria, and conveyed adequate emotions. With only minor over the top moments, her performance fit the bill.
The other members of the supporting cast were mediocre at best with barely any stand outs. What did stand out was how the psycho among the group of killers was Latin American.
The music also stood out by being overly and almost laughably dramatic and over the top when it didn’t need to be. Add to that the overuse of the slow-motion tool, and there you have it folks: an utterly ridiculous film.
Breaking In has a thin plot premise, relies too much on the main actress and sticks to a typical cat and mouse plot structure. Been there done that, don’t bother.