Breaking In Mixes Primal Protective Instincts with High Stakes Heist

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Breaking In

If you've ever been locked out of your house, you know what a pain it is trying to break back in. Turn the house is an electronic fortress, and add three armed robbers inside holding your kids hostage, and you've got BREAKING IN, a home invasion / heist drama fraught with tension and desparate players on both sides of the conflict.

Shaun Russell (GABRIELLE UNION) is a mother of two, and has arrived at her late father's estate to prepare it for sale. Her father was a crime boss, about to be face trial before he was run down in the street. But before he could go to trial, he liquidated all his assets and put them in a safe in his country home, a secluded manse on several acres and modified with the best security and surveillance systems money could buy.

Shortly after arriving, however, Shaun steps outside to make a phone call, and discovers she is not the first to have arrived at the big house. Suddenly she is shut outside, while her children, Jasmine (AJIONA ALEXUS, 13 REASONS WHY) and Glover (SETH CARR, BLACK PANTHER), are captured by armed robbers, who expected the house to be empty while they searched for the safe with the millions.

As soon as the action begins, there is a countdown. As the robbers have cut the phone lines, the security company will have police on site in 90 minutes unless they receive a call to do otherwise. That seems pretty generous of a security company on behalf of whomever might be robbing a place, but it does set the stage for the events to play out in somewhat real-time.

The thieves are mostly a motley bunch, played by MARK FURZE, RICHAD CABRAL and LEVI MEADEN, and they fight amongst themselves a lot about what ends they will go to in order to accomplish their goals. One is out of his depth now that things have evolved from simple breaking and entering, while another is completely ruthless and ready to kill. But it's their leader who really steals the show in this instance. If you've seen BILLY BURKE in his role as serial killer Philip Stroh on THE CLOSER and MAJOR CRIMES, then you're pretty much getting the same character here, only more of him -- and that's a good thing, because Burke is completely enthralling in his role. He has a way of making you want to trust him even though he's holding a gun to your head and you know he's lying.

The trailers show many of the conflict scenes, playing up Union's character as she battles to save her kids. They leave the sense that Union is some sort of trained fighter in a Steven Seagal movie. That could not be further from the truth. Shaun does fight the men, yes, but it's completely out of desperation, making it up as she goes along. Are there over the top moments? Sure. Implausible in places? Absolutely! None of that disturbs my enjoyment of this popcorn action flick in any way. In many ways, BREAKING IN is an old school beat-the-vicious-bad-guys flick that keeps the viewer on the edge of the seat, and is definitely a movie-night winner.

Grade: 
4.0 / 5.0