‘Breaking In’ should be thrown out

Breaking In should be thrown out

“Breaking In” is the story of a desperate mother who must protect her children after her home is invaded by intruders who will stop at nothing to get what they want, while showing how far a mother will go to protect her family.


There’s a trend in movies like these, of main characters never being developed outside of they have kids they care about.  “Breaking In” is no exception. Shaun Russell (Gabrielle Union) is a character without any development, and whose personality is all over the place.

One minute she’s crying and being attacked, but in the next scene she’s a hardcore soldier who can’t be stopped. Her character is a serious “Mary Sue”, one without every faults that is perfect at everything they do who outsmarts the villains at every step. There’s never any belief that she stands to lose anything or that the villains have a real advantage because of how far ahead of them she always is.

Union gives a decent performance, but her characters lack of believability makes her boring. It’s fine to have a character who is smart and able to defend themselves, it’s just when they are so perfect at everything without in-context reason for these skills that it gets uninteresting. There’s a reason that Superman’s villains are either super strong or super smart, or that people like John Wick have so many enemies to go through. There’s no fun in watching a struggle when its no challenge for the hero.

(James McTeigue) shot this film just as boring as any other director could, and it’s a real shame to see someone with talent using so little of it.”

— Alex Smith

“Breaking In” has taken serious influence from the film “Die Hard”, unfortunately without realizing what made that movie so fun to watch. Both are about being trapped inside a building while the protagonist’s family is being held hostage as the villains try to open a safe filled with money. Billy Burke’s character of Eddie, the leader of the criminals, is a seemingly direct copy of Alan Rickman’s character Hans Gruber. Yet unlike the iconic Hans Gruber, Eddie is boring and forgettable. And Shaun Russell is no John McClane, instead of a scrappy hero who fights against all odds, we get a protagonist who never really has any major challenges to face.

If you’ve already committed to copy a film as iconic as “Die Hard” you might as well go all out. Instead of three bland goons in a low stake environment, ramp it up. Go big. If you don’t want to develop your character any, than put them in fun or visually stimulating action. “Breaking In” has a serious problem with having a character pop into frame to attack a character from behind. That gets very boring quickly, so if you want a character to be an action hero, really commit to it, have them take on at least three times as many hired goons.

Unfortunately, “Breaking In” has no greater aspirations and instead settles for low stakes mediocrity, which results in a mediocre at best film with no staying power. The film, despite suffering from unnatural lighting for nighttime, looks fine. Director James McTeigue, of “V for Vendetta” fame, shot this film just as boring as any other director could, and it’s a real shame to see someone with talent using so little of it.

“Breaking In” has a runtime of one hour and twenty-eight minutes and is rated PG-13 for violence, menace, bloody images, sexual references, and brief strong language.