Trespass (2011)

DVD Cover (Millennium Entertainment)
Joel Schumacher Joel Schumacher
Nicolas Cage Nicolas Cage
Nicole Kidman Nicole Kidman
Ben Mendelsohn Ben Mendelsohn
Liana Liberato Liana Liberato
Cam Gigandet Cam Gigandet

5.3 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Genres: Psychological Thriller, Thriller
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Review by bluemeanie
Added: October 26, 2011
How many 'home invasion' films does it take to screw in a light bulb?

I will leave you with that riddle for a while. Home invasion films fall into two genres: action and horror. The horror genre seems to work better with films like "The Strangers", "Kidnapped" and "Funny Games". The action genre does not fare as well. I mean - what is "Trespass" but a remake of "Hostage" starring Bruce Willis which was, itself, a remake of "Firewall" starring Harrison Ford which was, itself - well, you get the picture. And whom better to helm an unoriginal action film than Renny Harlin. Wait - Renny Harlin turned it down. Cue Joel Schumacher. Schumacher has now been relegated to the 'straight to On Demand' level of film-making prowess.

The film stars Nicolas Cage as Kyle Miller, a seemingly successful diamond broker who lives in an amazing house with his emotionally confused wife, Sarah (Nicole Kidman) and their rebellious daughter, Avery (Liana Liberato). One evening, a group of men break into the home and hold the family hostage (these men include Ben Mendelsohn, Dash Mihok and Cam Gigandet). Why? Well, I am not sure that we ever get 100% of the story but it has something to do with stolen drugs and $180,000 and their following Cage's character around for a while. Enter a sub-plot involving Kidman and Gigandet - did she or didn't she have an affair with the young lad?

"Trespass" must have been the cheapest big-budget film ever...almost the entire film takes place inside the house that might have even belonged to Schumacher or one of the producers. And the house is a fine setting for what is, essentially, 90-minutes of Nicolas Cage doing his best 'Nicolas Cage' and attempting to outsmart the criminals, which he manages to do on a number of occasions. The only intrigue is whether or not Kidman is in on the crime or not - we realize they aren't going to kill the family members pretty early-on into the caper. Blame plot contrivance and stereotype for that big spoiler. In fact, you can basically predict everything that happens in this film.

The biggest problem with "Trespass" is that there isn't anyone to root for in the film. Nicolas Cage plays his character so 'out there' that the audience can't trust him - and it's hard for us to empathize with someone we just cannot trust. The same can be said for Kidman. The criminals are just a band of really redundant character-types who seem more like "The Three Stooges" than anything else. Mendelsohn (who was so strong in "Animal Kingdom") does a decent enough job with his role but he is saddled with a lackluster script and supporting actors who just aren't jiving with what he's bringing to the table. Gigandet is doing his best school boy routine, as he always does, and it once again falls flat, flat, flat. This guy has the emotional range of an Alka Seltzer bottle.

So then there's The Cage. Nicolas Cage is not know for his subtle acting performances, for the most part, and he does not disappoint here. He has about 10 very distinct character changes throughout the course of this film, almost as if he forgot how to play the character. His voice changes dramatically, his speech pattern changes. It's like he has multiple personality disorder. The best Cage moment is towards the beginning when he is explaining to the criminals why they won't get away with stealing his diamonds. Cage snorts and twitches and modulates his way through the monologue but damned if it doesn't make that weak writing more interesting. As for why Kidman is in this film - who knows. Does Schumacher have any pull left in Hollywood? Really?

Bottom Line: "Trespass" is a dud. It offers nothing original and recycles the same old formulas. The acting talent in the film is, for the most part, above par but even talented actors have a difficult time with bad material. Poor Dash Mihok is relegated to a role that is rather beneath him - seeing good actors go to waste is a sad, sad thing. But nothing is more sad than seeing Nicolas Cage phone in yet another performance in his attempts to buy as many castles as possible on the backs of 1,000 shitty films. Enough castles, Nick. Enough castles. 4/10.
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