“Breaking In” stars Gabrielle Union, Billy Burke, Seth Carr, Ajiona Alexus, Christa Miller, and Jason George. Released on May 11, 2018, the film is about a mother who must protect her kids from a gang of criminals.
The film is directed by James McTeigue, who also directed “V for Vendetta”, “Ninja Assassin”, “The Raven”, and “Survivor”. Now that I had my little fun with the college mom, it’s time for me to get down and dirty with a mother who’s not afraid to get her fingernails broken. This latest thriller comes from producer Will Packer, who is no stranger in producing thrillers like “Obsessed” and “No Good Deed”. While not critical masterpieces, those films offer a decent representation of female empowerment for an African American audience, and this film appears to be no different. Even though it wasn’t able to break the trend of average or mediocre thrillers that feature an African American cast, the film surprisingly provided a more tolerable experience compared to both “Obsessed” and “No Good Deed”.
The story lives up to its potential of being a simple, yet thinly-executed, thrill ride, which may or may not appeal to people who enjoy watching this type of genre. The first act of the film started off rough for a little while, but once I survived all of that, I was awarded with a series of non-stop thrills that were properly executed by James McTeigue. Gabrielle Union delivered a well-deserved performance as Shaun Russell, a mother who’s attempting to rescue her kids from a bunch of criminal convicts. This was her attempt at carrying her own film as a main female role, and she pulled it off flawlessly. The other actors were also decent in their roles, including Billy Burke as one of the criminals and Ajiona Alexus as one of Shaun’s kids, but none of them were able to compete with what Union had to offer. Shaun is one of those female characters who are willing to protect their loved ones from danger despite their lack of special training. She’s not a CIA agent, and she’s definitely not a superhero like Wonder Woman. She’s just a regular mom who wants nothing but the safety of her children. A characteristic like that helps the audience feel more engaged to the situation and Shaun herself compared to the other films that have female characters as special agents or superheroes. The only downside to this was that the film missed the opportunity to fully explore the character depth of Shaun and her connection to her late father. It had a few minor explanations, but not enough to make me feel more connected to Shaun.
Overall, “Breaking In” wasn’t able to break out of its thinly-plotted structure, but it did manage to make itself enjoyable compared to the other thrillers that Will Packer produced. Thanks to Union’s commanding lead role and some well-executed thrills, this film proves that the moms who will do anything to protect their kids are the best moms. If you like Union in her other movies, this film is worth checking out for her performance alone. Just don’t bring your kids along with you when you do. With that said, I hope you readers have a fantastic Mother’s Day, especially the mothers.