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MOVIE REVIEW

Breaking In also known as “Effraction,” “Irrumpir en,” «Проникновение»

MPAA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPAA) for violence, menace, bloody images, sexual references, and brief strong language.

,span>Reviewed by: Jonathan Rodriguez
CONTRIBUTOR

Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Adults
Genre:
Thriller
Length:
1 hr. 28 min.
Year of Release:
2018
USA Release:
May 11, 2018 (wide—2,537 theaters)
Copyright, Universal Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Universal Pictures Copyright, Universal Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Universal Pictures

home invasions

protecting one’s children from harm

Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer

What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer

Does God feel our pain? Answer

Issue of pain and suffering

Why does God allow innocent people to suffer? Answer

What about the issue of suffering? Doesn’t this prove that there is no God and that we are on our own? Answer

Does God feel our pain? Answer

What about the Psalm 91 promises? (“…no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent…”) Answer

ORIGIN OF BAD—How did bad things come about? Answer

Did God make the world the way it is now? What kind of world would you create? Answer

Featuring: Gabrielle UnionShaun Russell
Billy BurkeEddie
Richard Cabral … Duncan
Ajiona Alexus … Jasmine Russell
Levi Meaden … Sam
Seth Carr … Glover Russell
Mark Furze … Peter
Jason George … Justin Russell
Christa Miller … Maggie Harris
Damien Leake … Isaac
Director: James McTeigue—“V for Vendetta” (2005), “The Raven” (2012), “Ninja Assassin” (2009)
Producer: Breaking In Pictures
Will Packer Productions
See all »
Distributor: Distributor: Universal Pictures. Trademark logo.
Universal Pictures

“Breaking In” drops us into the life of Shaun Russell (Gabrielle Union), a mother of two who is headed with her kids to her late, estranged-father’s vacation home in upstate Wisconsin. It is her job to get the place cleaned before the house goes up for sale.

Once they arrive, her son Glover discovers an elaborate security system that her father had put into place, suggesting that even living way out in the woods, her father was worried that someone would come for something hidden inside the home. This means little to Shaun; she hasn’t been in the house in many years and wants to get in, get everything done, and then wash her hands of the matter.

Of course, it won’t be that easy because (we’ve seen the trailer) a group of four criminals knows her father has died and want first dibs on a small fortune located somewhere inside the house.

The burglars were not expecting to have to deal with anyone being at the house, so they find a way to use the kids as leverage, holding them hostage inside the home in hopes of getting what they want from Shaun.

The film is rated PG-13 for “violence, menace, bloody images, sexual references, and brief strong language,” and, while I have a few problems with the movie, the content is one of the biggest. Not even necessarily because it’s extraordinarily offensive, but because it points to the film’s biggest problem—“Breaking In” doesn’t know the kind of movie it wants to be.

Early in the film, one of the bad guys uses the word “freaking” as an adjective. At least, that’s the word we hear. But that’s not the way his mouth moves. I’m no expert lip-reader, but I certainly know the difference between “freaking” and the word that was originally said before it was dubbed over. When this happened, my thought was “Well, they are clearly trying to keep this film a little milder to prevent getting an R-rating and to make the film more palatable to the younger, or more impressionable, crowds.” But then, right after, the lead bad guy reminds one of his henchmen that robbing a house is a better job than where he had originally found him, “on your knees in a prison shower.”

A few more dubbed f-words follow before we do finally hear the word un-dubbed, as well as various other profanities and multiple uses of the Lord’s Name.

Violence is surprisingly strong, especially for a movie willing to dub some of its vulgar language. But, in the beginning, it gives off slightly different vibes. The bad guys mostly seem intent on not doing much harm to anyone beyond what is necessary. The lead bad guy seems pretty level-headed, with a clean, and clear plan to avoid any extra mess. But, by the end of the movie, we have something completely different. One person is hit by a car, another is run over by one. Someone has their throat slashed, while another has their head bashed. Lots of bloody kicks and punches and stabs and gun shots occur along the way, as well. During one menacing scene, Shaun’s daughter tries to help her mom and is then attacked by the vilest of the henchmen (who kind of seems like he’s from a completely different movie). It’s somewhat suggested that he might attempt to rape the daughter, as he mentions earlier in the film his desire to do so, but Shaun quickly distracts him away from the teenaged-girl.

The film opened over Mother’s Day weekend and is likely to be one that teenagers will be interested in seeing. Parents should use caution and discernment in deciding whether this film is right for members of their family. But, this is very much a film that clearly intended to be an R-rated one before changing some things up at the last minute to earn a rather inexplicable PG-13.

The film centers around the mom and her innate desire to protect her children at all costs, even willing to risk her life for theirs. Clear Christian themes of sacrifice can be seen here, as the Bible talks about true love being the love Christ had for us by being willing to die, and how greater love is shown when someone lays their life down for another.

“Breaking In” comes from James McTeigue, the director who brought us the cult classic “V for Vendetta,” and “The Raven,” a rather dull formulation of the famous source material. Now, “Breaking In” isn’t as dreadful as “The Raven,” but it’s also not nearly as interesting as “V…”

This movie feels rushed, and unsure of itself. As I was watching, I began to wonder whether the desire to release this movie on Mother’s Day weekend had something to do with how clunky the script, acting, and pacing were. It’s not a terrible movie; I’ve seen far worse action movies just this year (i.e. “Red Sparrow”). But, “Breaking In” seems like a movie of missed opportunities. If it wanted to be the serious, violent movie that it mostly ends up being, then it should have just gone with it, embraced the R-rating and given adults something geared more to them. This would have increased the stakes and given the viewers something with actual tension. If it wanted to be something more accessible, than it should have toned down the heaviness and given us something more fun and less drab. It needed to pick a lane and stay in it.

Instead, we get a movie that veers all over the place, sometimes rather incoherently. We don’t know much about the characters, and only feel for the children stuck in the middle of the mess. We don’t know what Shaun’s father did to make himself the target of criminals, we don’t know how a competent bad guy could assemble an inept team like this. We don’t get a very good sense of place within the house, and I really never could tell which room was next to which or where the family was in relation to the criminals. I could go on. But, I’ll spare you. Some people may enjoy “Breaking In,” but this was one movie I couldn’t wait to break out of.

  • Violence: Very Heavy
  • Profane language: Heavy— • Holy sh*t! • J*sus • G*d d*mn (2)• I swear to G*d • h*ll (2) • d*mn
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Heavy— • f-word (plus a partial f-word, plus a “friggin’” and dubbed “freaking”) • banging (referring to sex) • screw • b*tch (5) • s-words (10) • a**
  • Nudity: Minor
  • Sex: Moderate— • Various crude sexual comments • Talk of rape and beginning of rape (female thrown on table and man begins undoing his pants—and is then distracted)
  • Occult: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


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