'Breaking In: Unrated Director's Cut'
(Gabrielle Union, Billy Burke, Richard Cabral, et al / Blu-ray+DVD+Digital / R / 2018 / Universal Pictures Home Entertainment)
Overview: Gabrielle Union stars as a woman who will stop at nothing to rescue her two children being held hostage in a house designed with impenetrable security.
Blu-ray Verdict: In truth, I do like whenever we get a home invasion/survival type film so I was kind of looking forward to 'Breaking In'.
That said, the trailer didn't really look that great, but I was hoping for an enjoyable time. Add the fact that this film was directed by the same guy who made 'V For Vendetta' (James McTeigue) and you would expect something good.
Unfortunately, this film is actually quite bad on a few levels. There was certainly a better way to go about this film and although the film's premise is simple the writer and director involved missed the opportunity with their execution.
The film is about a mother and her two children who drive up to her recently deceased father's house. His house is in a fairly remote area and once there they realize that they are in the way of four criminals who want to rob the fortune in the house.
The mother's kids are locked in with the men, while she is outside and must find her way in to save her children from danger. The men definitely underestimate her ability to go the distance to save her family.
Gabrielle Union is an often reliable actress who gives a solid performance in this film. She has no real fault in this and is believable as a mother who has to save her kids. Everything else is bad, sorry.
We don't really know anything about the strained relationship between Union's character and her father. What went on with them? What was his connection the the robbers? Nothing is explained well and things are left badly vague.
Thankfully, the film is short (88 minutes) yet some scenes move at a complete snails pace. We see characters just walk around and look at things for minutes on end. I'm not even close to exaggerating that fact either as it happens four times here.
The film could have even used thrilling moments, but doesn't utilize that either. The villains are cookie cutter and despite the premise of the film there seems to be nothing at stake.
That said, and playing Devil's Advocate, as I always will, while 'Breaking In' is not a perfect film by any means, suffering from various guilty continuity errors also (let alone the aforementioned lack of development re: any of the antagonists, their motives, their methods, or even their criminal backgrounds, et al), it does a VERY good job of allowing Union's character to use her common skills and knowledge in defeating a very "menacing," and definitely "threatening" group of baddies.
In closing, 'Breaking In' is a really disappointing effort all around, but sure, okay, I wasn't expecting a masterpiece of this genre, but the stale and underwritten plot really dampens a film that should have been much better. This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.39:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Alternative Open - The Gas Station with Commentary by Director James McTeigue and Scriptwriter Ryan Engle
One Bad Mother...
A Lesson in Kicking Ass
Deleted/Extended Scenes (with Commentary by Director James McTeigue and Scriptwriter Ryan Engle)
A Hero Evolved
A Filmmaker's Eye: James McTeigue
Feature Commentary with Director James McTeigue and Scriptwriter Ryan Engle
Includes a digital copy of 'Breaking In - Unrated Director's Cut Version'
Official 'Breaking In: Unrated Director's Cut' Blu-ray Trailer