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The Warsaw Voice » World of Movies » December 21, 2011
Film review
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December 21, 2011   
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In one of the most tired Hollywood clichés, a bunch of thugs corner a family in their home and force them to struggle for their lives. Admittedly, this formula has sometimes resulted in quite decent movies, one of the most notable examples being David Fincher’s Panic Room (2002) starring Jodie Foster.

Usually, however, the end product are mediocre thrillers like Hostage by Florent Emilio Siri from 2005, which not even Bruce Willis could save. Trespass by Joel Schumacher (Falling Down, Batman & Robin, The Client) belongs to the latter group. The script is unconvincing, the protagonists behave in a way that is implausible from a psychological point of view, and everybody, the victims and the intruders alike, seem like they are constantly on the verge of hysteria. The only upside of the movie is that it is short, at just an hour and a half. But that is hardly comforting given that apart from endless screaming, gratuitous violence and a plot that makes less and less sense, there is not much happening on the screen.

The movie has an idyllic opening when diamond dealer Kyle Miller (Nicolas Cage—Lord of War, Leaving Las Vegas, the National Treasure series) pulls up in his convertible Porsche in front of his luxurious house with a pool. He is greeted by his beautiful wife Sarah (Nicole Kidman—Moulin Rouge!, The Others, Australia) and it seems the biggest problem the family could ever have is whether their teenage daughter should go to a party or stay at home. The parents say no, but what the girl will do isn’t very hard to figure out.

Things take a sharp turn minutes later when four bandits barge into the house, heading straight for Miller’s safe, which apparently contains a small fortune in diamonds and cash, or so it seems. Needless to say, the main character attempts a desperate game with the intruders in a bid to save his family or at least win some time before help arrives. It soon turns out nothing is what it seems and both the terrorized family and the four invaders gradually reveal their secrets which, one by one, change the situation on the battlefield.

Cage has been cast as a tough guy quite a few times (Con Air, Ghost Rider, 60 Seconds), but he is better in roles that do not have him shoot guns and wrestle his opponents. This time, he tries hard to play a man who in order to protect his family reconnects with his inner hero, but the change is hardly compelling. Kidman delivers a bland performance as well and the invaders are not much better.

Movie audiences have shown remarkably little tolerance for all this and Trespass was shown at American theaters for only 10 days.

The list of the film’s “accomplishments” goes on with the dubious record of being the fastest movie to get a DVD release just 18 (yes, eighteen) days after the theatrical release. For a movie with a $35-million budget, the record is sure to remain unbroken for many years to come.
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