Breaking In (2018) reviewed by Jonathan Berk

The trailers for Breaking In (2018) didn’t exactly make the film look exciting, but they did hint at some action. Instead, the film follows around a weak premise that- in hindsight – is fairly pointless, never gets any real explanation, and unfolds with almost nothing exciting ever happening. Are people in danger…maybe? The criminals bicker more about what they’re willing to do in order to get what they’re after more than anything else.

Breaking In has too many missteps and not enough action

Shaun (Gabrielle Union) and her kids, Jasmine (Ajiona Alexus) and Glover (Seth Carr), are returning to her childhood home to prepare it for sale after the passing of her estranged father. It’s not long after settling in that they discover they’re not alone. A group of men is in the heavily secured house, and they are looking for a safe that they believe to be containing a lot of money. Shaun escapes their captures, but her kids aren’t as lucky. Now, she has to risk her life to save theirs.

Gabrielle Union seems checked out in this film, and it’s hard to blame her. The criminal is generic, with Richard Cabral acting like he is in a B Horror film. He gives some terrible line reads with dialogue that was already weakly written. There is a point where one of the criminals tells Shaun for the third or fourth time that she’s an impressive lady or something like that, and she responds with the theme of the film; I’m a mom. Yeah, we get it, Movie. Moms can summon incredible strength or skill in order to save their children. However, we don’t really see her do much of anything in this movie.

In fact, so much of the film is full of her doing things that don’t pan out or make sense at all. She manages to get to her kids at one point, and then decides to leave them in the house to hatch what she thinks is a sure-fire escape plan…only for it to blow up in her face in a scene that the marketing department for this film spoiled in the trailers anyways! A film set to be a thriller really doesn’t do much to build the suspense. The most stressful scene is when Duncan (Richard Cabral) walks into the room where the kids are being kept at a point when we know the sister has temporarily escaped. The tension of the “will she make it back in time” stress is relieved by a toilet flush. If only they’d dropped this draft of the script in there and tried again.

The movie opens with Shaun’s father, a fact we are left to assume for the rest of the film, going for a jog. He is struck by a car, flips over it, and lands, struggling to breathe. The driver walks out, his face obscured, and eventually stomps on the old man’s face. The presentation presents a mystery that hopefully will be solved. The tension between Shaun and her father may be revealed or resolved possibly as a result. Then there is that comment she makes when seeing her dad’s security system about him being paranoid – all the setup pointing towards a mystery. Eventually, we are literally told who killed the grandfather, and that it was for no particular reason, and nothing ever comes to be resolved in any way that could be considered satisfying.

Final thoughts…

There wasn’t a lot of hope that this film would be amazing, but instead, it was pretty bad. Not the worst film by any means, as Union is still charismatic and the child actors do a solid job. There isn’t much in the film, and yet, you see a lot of the wasted potential. Breaking In earns the Not a Total Waste of Time rating, and is not one I’ll be planning on sitting through again.

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