Director: Joel Schumacher
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Nicole Kidman, Ben Mendelsohn, Cam Gigandet, Liana Liberato, Jordana Spiro, Dash Mihok, Emily Meade, Nico Tortorella
Runtime: 1 hr 31 mins
Rating: M18 (Violence and Coarse Language)
Released By: InnoForm Media and Cathay-Keris Films
Official Website: http://www.trespass-the-movie.com/
Opening Day: 15 March 2012
Synopsis: In a private, wealthy community, priority is placed on security and no exception is made for the Miller family's estate. Behind their pristine walls and manicured gardens, Kyle (Nicolas Cage), a fast-talking businessman, has entrusted the mansion's renovation to his stunning wife, Sarah (Nicole Kidman). But between making those big decisions and keeping tabs on their defiant teenage daughter (Liana Liberato), Sarah often finds herself distracted by a young, handsome worker (Cam Gigandet) at their home. Nothing is what it seems, and it will take a group of cold-blooded criminals led by Elias (Ben Mendelsohn), who have been planning a vicious home invasion for months, to bring the Miller family together. When they storm the manor, everyone is tangled up in betrayal, deception, temptation and scheming. Kyle, Sarah and Avery will take the ultimate risk to make it out with their lives - and their family - intact.
Oh Joel Schumacher, I suppose your Midas Touch has deserted you, and that is woeful. Once, you had the ability to tell great stories, but in recent years that had seemed to have left you. The premise of Trespass seemed to be a walk in the park for a director of your experience to bring to the big screen, but that was not to be taken quite literally because the film was void of pace without a sense of urgency for the genre it unfortunately belonged to. Frankly it developed without much care to engage the audience. We all got bills to pay, but making a film like this one just makes you grow into box office poison.
The film may boast Academy Award winners - and the marketing folks will not forget to mention that at every opportunity - in having once A-listers like Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman, demonstrate once again how the mighty have fallen. Once magnets for crowds and marquee names that guarantee blockbuster status, they are but a pale shadow of their former selves, stuck in playing non-challenging roles such as these that I'm sure wouldn't make it to their favourites list when telling their grandchildren about their careers. Cage and Kidman play husband and wife Kyle and Sarah Miller, who are filthy rich characters living with a spoilt brat of a daughter Avery (Liana Liberato), where his focus is on his diamond dealing career, and hers on a need for preparing family dinners, leading to their daughter rebelling to get out of a house to join a frat party her parents had frowned upon.
Before you know it, their swanky, modern mansion gets infiltrated by four robbers, and when expected to pick up the pace, is where things actually start to go downhill. Too much shouting, too much posturing, too many threats and ridiculous counter-threats issued, that nothing moves and everyone is haggling around a stalemate. All that's required is for Kyle to open up the largest safe in the house, but his refusal led to a lot more contrived instances of convenience, which flip-flopped into robbery objectives of money, then bodily parts, with many syringes and guns pointing in all directions than you really care. The plot progressed in very laughable fashion, and one wonders just what the writer Karl Gajdusek was smoking when conceiving the plot, which is scattered, and really tried its best to be intelligent by offering twists and turns, only for them to become laughable.
The worst thing that can happen in a suspense film, is the lack of suspense that serves as essential fuel for the genre, made worse with characters behaving in highly illogical fashion, if you can discount the fact that behaviours still stick to certain social conventions regardless of whether one is under duress. Such as the character of Avery who had it worst, because each time when presented an opportunity to escape, she flatly refuses, and the one that took the cake involved a car crash and she had to run on foot. Back home. Without seeking law enforcement. Right. And the security company they engage? Classic case of the worst there is. Then again, everyone has to be acting against logic for the plot to hold itself together.
But there are small positive takeaway points from the film, and that is for all newbie robbers who are attempting stunts like these, to really do their homework and learn from the many movie mistakes here. It doesn't pay to be squabbling amongst yourselves, nor to bring in any baggage to a job like this. Remember that unity is strength, so stick to the plan, and not get seduced by offers made by your victims. Force should be shown and demonstrated early to show who's the boss, rather than to pussyfoot around it and regret later. And never have one amongst your ranks having the hots for the blonde. It never bodes well especially when he's starting to listen to his heart rather than his head
(This would have been a great comedy if it was intentionally funny)
Review by Stefan Shih