Review: Trespass (2011)

Director: Joel Schumacher | 91 minutes | drama, thriller, crime | Actors: Nicolas Cage, Nicole Kidman, Ben Mendelsohn, Liana Liberato, Cam Gigandet, Jordana Spiro, Dash Mihok, Emily Meade, Nico Tortorella, Brandon Belknap, Terry Milam, Tina Parker, David Maldonado, Nilo Otero, Simone Levin, Gracie Whitton, Matthan Harris

At first glance, the thriller ‘Trespass’ has enough to offer. For example, there is no shortage of experienced actors with the leading roles for Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman. The director, Joel Schumacher, also has enough experience to turn the film into something beautiful. The story, about a rich family held hostage in their own home, has quite some potential. So much for the good news. Because ‘Trespass’ may promise that it will offer an intense, exciting film with a good story, these promises turn out to be nothing more than empty words. Instead, you are presented with a weak, predictable and often slightly irritating ‘thriller’.

As mentioned, the story of ‘Trespass’ is about a rich family consisting of Kyle and Sarah Miller (Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman) and their adolescent daughter Avery (Liana Liberato). Kyle is very busy with his job and has little to no time for the family, much to Sarah’s annoyance. Avery is tired of being treated like a little child, which has resulted in many arguments. The only positive thing for the family is their enormous wealth. But one evening, when four heavily armed robbers raid the house with brute force to rob the vault, this wealth is also endangered and the family must rely on each other to survive.

There is not much wrong with the basis of this story. Unfortunately, almost everything in the film goes wrong quite quickly. For example, the robbery and the subsequent hostage taking in the house lacked any form of credibility. There is no question of a good, structured robbery. The robbers themselves do nothing more than yell at each other and at the family all the time. When there is also no money and diamonds in the safe, the bomb bursts. The last part of the film is therefore not a normal word from the mouths of the robbers and at the end you have a headache from the continuous screaming. The low point in this area is Petal (Jordana Spiro). Despite her limited role as assistant to the robbers, she does nothing but scream hysterically so that she still manages to stand out. No, the credibility and professionalism of the robbers is hard to find. For example, despite being heavily armed, it takes them nearly half an hour to get the defenseless Kyle to open the safe, with some weird and unnecessary dialogues between the two that precede this. In a comedy this bumbling would lead to laughter, but in a serious thriller it causes annoyance.

The plot has also been a lot of work. For example, one of the robbers, Jonah (Cam Gigandet), appears to have a great love for Sarah and it was agreed in advance not to harm her. If this fails, this then causes major discussion among the burglars themselves, resulting in even more screaming and chaos. The film tries to elaborate on this love story and the history of the robbers through a number of flashbacks. But despite all undoubtedly good intentions, this also results in no more than a confused and superfluous story. In the past, for example, ‘Panic Room’ (2002) has already proven that a hostage situation at home can lead to an interesting film. Unfortunately, ‘Trespass’ proves that the opposite can also be true.

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