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USA 2011
Directed by
Joel Schumacher
91 minutes
Rated MA

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
1 stars

Trespass

Trespass is an unremittingly tasteless addition to the home invasion sub-genre of thriller from a director with a hit-and-miss career cranking out mainstream Hollywood fare.  As the film had a budget of $35 million and grossed $24,000 theatrically it's fair enough to say that this is one of his more egregious misses.

Nicolas Cage plays a wealth diamond broker, Kyle Miller, who is married to Sarah (Nicole Kidman) and lives in a palatial home with their teenage daughter, Avery (Liana Liberato). Relations in the family are estranged but you can bet that they are going to change when a gang of thugs pretending to be cops gain entry to the house and demand that Kyle open his well-stocked safe. From then on the story is an unrelenting concatenation of potty-mouthed imprecations and violence that, as it transpires that Kyle is broke and his safe is empty, is literally gratuitous. The thugs (one, played with relish by Ben Mendelsohn, of whom brings along his skanky, crackhead girlfriend). unable to come to terms with how their proposed heist has gone belly-up try more and more desperate stratagems to wrest some fiscal gain out of the job but to no avail. The idea of this peculiar scenario by writer Karl Gajdusek was perhaps to create some kind existential opposition between the broke-and-desperate robbers and their broke-and-desperate wealthy victims. One can see something European in this but all that Schumacher can do is to fall back on the usual Hollywood devices of face pummeling, bellowing and screaming, throwing furniture and having everyone crawl around on the floor (at one stage or another the entire cast gets some floor time). There is a twist at the end which invests what has gone before with some irony but by this time Schumacher has pummeled any potential the film might have had into oblivion.

Cage has made plenty of rubbishy action thrillers but what Kidman, who is like a lily on a dung heap here, is doing in this is another matter (although maybe it explains, in part at least, where the $35 mill, went). Trespass is not bad enough to be good it’s just crass and dull.

 

 

 

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