Millennium Entertainment // 2011 // 90 Minutes // Rated R
Reviewed by Judge Franck Tabouring (Retired) // November 10th, 2011
When terror is at your doorstep, you can run, or you can fight.
Over the years, we've all seen our share of home invasion thrillers, and while some of them certainly met our expectations and found considerable box office success, others simply crashed and burned, leaving us with anger over valuable time wasted. The latter certainly applies to Joel Schumacher's Trespass, a disappointing action-thriller that suffers from a dreadful script and clearly fails to capitalize on the popularity of its cast, which includes Nicole Kidman and Nicolas Cage.
In the film, Cage (Drive Angry) plays Kyle Miller, a determined diamond broker who lives in an extravagant mansion with his wife Sarah (Kidman, Australia) and teenage daughter Avery (Liana Liberato, Trust). Kyle and Sarah's marriage isn't exactly going the way they planned, but their personal troubles are nothing compared to the agony they face when a group of masked robbers invade their home and hold them hostage.
Trespass is the epitome of a bad home invasion flick. Karl Gajdusek's monotonous script doesn't leave any room for suspense or logic, and the characters it unleashes lack both common sense and brainpower. Films like this one are supposed to keep audiences on the edge, but in this case, all viewers get to experience are 90 minutes of moronic altercations between the criminals and their victims. If you're looking for some engaging thrills or some hardcore action, Trespass definitely isn't the movie for you.
That said, Schumacher doesn't waste too much time before letting the big robbery begin. After gaining entry to the Miller residence by posing as cops, the bad guys get to the point rather swiftly, ordering Kyle to open his badass safe, which they expect to contain a fortune. Fearing for his life though, Kyle decides to play tough and respectfully refuses, which he believes gives him some crucial leverage in an effort to keep himself and his family safe.
At this point, you would expect the film to generate some suspense by having the criminals resort to more violent methods in order to get what they want, but sadly enough, Trespass goes into a totally different direction. Instead of entertaining viewers with some good old fashioned terror, the film instead chooses to have it characters engage in pointless verbal disputes. No one is raising the stakes here, and while Kyle and his wife Sarah think of a way to get out of the house, our villains start arguing about how to best handle Kyle's stubbornness.
In a sense, they all turn into helpless losers too dumb and soft to get what they're really after, and while everybody onscreen spends most of the time yelling at each other, we as spectators are left to wonder if Trespass is ever going to end. Things do occasionally get physical between the Millers and the gunmen, but none of these short-lived brawls (if I can even call them that) are remotely intense or brutal enough to leave a mark.
Trespass tries to play clever by hinting at a bunch of secrets kept by several characters as the drama unfolds, but truth be told, they're all too shallow and monotonous for us to even care about what they're hiding. The third act changes pace and provokes a loud showdown, but what Schumacher has in store for us is an ending as conventional as endings in lame thrillers of this kind can get.
A solid cast can sometimes overshadow a movie's obvious flaws, but in this case, there's simply nothing Cage or Kidman could've done to save Trespass. Cage's recent films haven't exactly provided him with the chance to prove what he's capable of, and his performance as Kyle in this film lacks depth and intensity. Kidman gets to perform some stunts every now and then, but she's hardly convincing as the scared, hysterical victim. As far as the bad guys are concerned, the only one standing out is Cam Gigandet; not for his skills, but for his botched attempt to play a psychopath.
Visually, Trespass scores some points, primarily because the Blu-ray edition's 2.40:1 1080p transfer offers a clean picture featuring strong colors and decent vibrance. The accompanying Dolby TrueHD 5.1 surround audio transfer doesn't disappoint either. Bonus material is a little scarce here, and the only extra you'll find on this disc is a short behind-the-scenes featurette. Nothing too fancy.
Trespass is a bust. There's really no other way to put it. I don't know what Schumacher, Cage, and Kidman were thinking when they agreed to take on this project, because this goes down as a big embarrassment. The proven existence of many solid home invasion flicks should make it pretty easy for folks to skip this one.
Review content copyright © 2011 Franck Tabouring; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
Studio: Millennium Entertainment
* 2.40:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* TrueHD 5.1 Surround (English)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Rated R