Trespass is the sort of the film that, from afar, had potential but upon closer inspection is just perplexing. The character’s actions make little sense, the criminals’ activities/motivations seemed to come from a rejected episode of “Criminal Minds” and the acting ranges from sleepwalking (Kidman) to just odd (unsurprisingly Cage). It’s not a bad film by any stretch as the direction at least makes it look good but the screenplay needed work.
Genre(s): Crime, Suspense, Thriller
Millennium | R – 90 min. – $29.99 | November 1, 2011
Directed by: Joel Schumacher
Writer(s): Karl Gajousek (written by)
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Nicole Kidman, Ben Mendelsohn, Cam Gigandet, Liana Liberato
Theatrical Release Date: October 14, 2011
Number of Discs: 1
Audio: English (Dolby TrueHD 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 2.40
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
THE MOVIE – 2.75/5
Nicolas Cage’s latest film is a thriller co-starring fellow Academy Award winner Nicole Kidman in which Cage plays middleman diamond seller Kyle Miller. Miller is the stereotypical overworked husband and father. The spark in his marriage with Sarah is apparently gone despite her best attempt to get his attention via a sleek black dress and a passionate kiss that after a brief moment pulls away from because has some business to attend to after just returning home from an out of town trip. Meanwhile, daughter Avery (LIANA LIBERATO) pouts in her room after her parents wouldn’t allow her to attend a party, but being a typical teenager, she manages to sneak out and go anyway. Lucky for her because when she does, a gang of thieves con their way into the Miller home.
They enter gangbusters showing who’s in charge and after some roughhousing and securing the location, they reveal that they want the contents of a giant wall safe. For some reason Kyle is not about to open it despite their threats to harm and even kill his wife. Why won’t he open it? Your guess is as good as mine especially when later, after they manage to capture Avery when she returns home (there’s a minor side story at the party – which does come back later – with her being pressured to have sex), he still refuses to open it. Well, after some big time physical harm, he finally does to reveal… the safe is empty. Kyle reveals to the wannabe, and often moronic, thieves as well as his wife that the diamond business has not been so good and that the family’s entire fortune is in the large modern house and the mortgage; basically the family is broke. Of course, that’s not the entire story for both Kyle and his family but for the thieves as well because for one of them, it might not be about the money.
Trespass is an exercise in inane storytelling and over-the-top acting. In the terms of the latter, as the film wore on, I was becoming impressed with Cage’s subdued performance thinking his inner Ghost Rider/The Wicker Man won’t make an appearance. Sadly, I spoke too soon because there was a point in the film where he finally goes off, verbally, on the thieves; it’s not quite as bad as his other performances, but it got darn close.
Having said that, it probably was better than anyone else: Nicole Kidman seemed to mostly sleepwalk through her performance, Ben Mendelsohn (Animal Kingdom) plays the lead thief is the most animated and perhaps interesting, Cam Gigandet is the brother and inside man of the group and probably underplayed his part and the others merely fill their roles and are pretty non-descript (although it’s good to see the lovely Jordana Spiro, from “My Boys”, get work).
As I said, it’s not a bad film but there are times its over-the-top and the story itself seemed to come from a rejected episode of “Criminal Minds” (without the law enforcement side). The screenplay was written by Karl Gajdusek (apparently with on-set changes by Schumacher confidant Eli Richbourg) who in his credited feature film debut after working on the critically acclaimed series, “Dead Like Me” where he worked as a story editor and eventually a few episodes.
Trespass was directed by Joel Schumacher who, seemingly as of late, has taken to directing mainly extremely limited theatrical releases including a horror-thriller called Blood Shots (starring Superman-to-be Henry Cavill) and the absolutely terrible/wretched drama Twelve. While this latest entry for Schumacher is better than Twelve, it still shows the decline of a once adequate and even good director (on the whole, Flatliners, The Client and A Time to Kill were solid entries). His style here, much like the film itself, is nothing special.
As it stands, this is merely passable entertainment. The story does get ridiculous when it came to all of the character’s motivations, including that of the victim. The two Academy Award winners in Nic Cage and Nicole Kidman do their best to rescue a floundering story but even then, in the case of Kidman, it came across as a sleepwalking performance.
SPECIAL FEATURES – 1.0/5
Trespass: Inside the Thriller (5:07; SD) is your run-of-the-mill making-of featurette where we get behind-the-scenes footage and comments from the cast and crew telling the viewers what the movie is about.
Previews – Faces in the Crowd, Puncture, Blitz, Trust
VIDEO – 3.75/5
Trespass comes to Blu-ray in 1080p high-definition and presented in its original 2.40 widescreen aspect ratio. The picture looks good throughout with well detailed objects and faces, a good color array that never gets oversaturated and fine black levels that didn’t reveal obvious issues of pixilation and artifacting. This is not going to be an eye-popping Blu-ray transfer but still good enough.
AUDIO – 3.75/5
Millennium has provided the disc with a decent Dolby TrueHD 5.1 track. Everything from dialogue volume to the various action scenes sounded pretty good. As with the picture, there’s nothing special here but at the same time, it’s probably a little better than its DVD counterpart.
OVERALL – 2.5/5
Overall, Trespass is the sort of the film that, from afar, had potential but upon closer inspection is just perplexing. The character’s actions make little sense, the criminals’ activities/motivations seemed to come from a rejected episode of “Criminal Minds” and the acting ranges from sleepwalking (Kidman) to just odd (unsurprisingly Cage). It’s not a bad film by any stretch as the direction at least makes it look good but the screenplay needed work. The Blu-ray itself has good audio and video transfers but lacks any substantive features.
Brian Oliver, The Movieman
Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2.