Breaking In Casts Union as Bad-Ass Momma Bear

Capsule Movie Review: Breaking In

Gabrielle Union plays a mother embracing her grizzly side as she makes a desperate bid to free her two children from armed kidnappers in James McTiegue’s latest round of high velocity action.

Breaking In

2.5/5

Starring: Gabrielle Union, Billy Burke, Ajiona Alexus, Levi Meaden, Richard Cabral, Seth Carr

Directed by: James McTiegue

Rating: PG-13

Running time: 1 hr 28 mins

By Katherine Monk

It may not have the line that made Sigourney Weaver’s defence of little Newt a classic movie moment, but the sentiment is definitely the same: “Get away from my brood, or there will be blood.” Shaun Russell (Gabrielle Union) doesn’t have the help of a hydraulic robotic forklift, but she does have a few gadgets at her disposal — which is why I wanted to watch Breaking In.

The ads show us a mother trying to save her kids from armed bandits and the line “You broke into the wrong house!” I love movies where Moms get all protective. We’ve all heard stories of moms who find amazing strength when their cubs are at risk, lifting cars off toddlers and heaving burning beams.

Moms are the prototype for all superheroes because they are the living example of true altruism, and Shaun is your standard mama bear. She thought bringing her two kids to see her late father’s estate would be a fun weekend. Too bad she had no idea her father was hiding stacks of illicit cash inside his state-of-the-art house, because when she arrives, she’s not alone. A foursome of looters fixed on grand larceny has staked out the estate, and one of them is a true psycho killer.

The hook is Mom gets out of the house, but the kids are being held captive inside — behind the kevlar-weaved windows and fully automated security system. Shaun will have to break into he fortress to save her babies. She may also be forced to kill a few bad guys in the process.

The only thing missing is the Rube Goldberg element. We love watching the underdog outsmart the bad guys, but we need to see the engineering acumen, the MacGyver spirit hooking up with the Rambo passion.

Needless to say, almost everything that happens is entirely unbelievable — except the raw power of a mom in protection mode. Gabrielle Union (star of Being Mary Jane) produced this movie, hired action director James McTiegue (V for Vendetta, Ninja Assassin) and cast herself in the lead as a latter-day Bruce Willis in a scaled down Die Hard.

The only thing missing is the Rube Goldberg element. We love watching the underdog outsmart the bad guys, but we need to see the engineering acumen, the MacGyver spirit hooking up with the Rambo passion.

This movie goes to great lengths to show us a security system, a kid’s drone and motion detector lights — but it doesn’t really put them all together in any interesting way. And sometimes, I didn’t even understand exactly what was happening. The chase didn’t make sense because the edits destroyed the tension. All the same, the movie’s heart was in the right place, so when we get the line “I’m a mother!” — we get the chance to chorus Mom Power, even though the movie has so many holes, it whistles.

@katherinemonk

 

THE EX-PRESS, May 11, 2018

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Review: Breaking In

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2.5Score

Gabrielle Union plays a mother embracing her grizzly side as she makes a desperate bid to free her two children from armed kidnappers in James McTiegue’s latest round of high velocity action. -- Katherine Monk

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