Breaking In

Breaking In

In Theatres: 
May 11, 2018
Running Time: 
88 minutes

Breaking In features Gabrielle Union as Shaun Russell, a mom willing to do anything and everything to protect her children. She’s the ultimate Mama Bear who runs barefoot through the woods, climbs up rooftops, hangs from handrails, and battles hardened criminals. Packaged as a Mother’s Day thriller, it plays like many action films we’ve seen, but we’ve never seen one starring a black woman as the hero for the entire family.

Breaking In does suffer from a lack of detail. What was Shaun’s father into that even though he made his home such a fortress that these thugs found their way inside? Why was she so estranged from him? What kind of training did Shaun have to be able to scale, run, and fight without needing a break? Just a few lines would have added much needed depth and complexity.

There is far too much telling instead of showing. Characters remark on Shaun’s intelligence and persistence, hitting us over the head when all that needs to be done is to let her be the badass she is. Let her BE MacGyver; don’t tell me that’s what she is, prove it. At the same time, let the criminals be an actual challenge for Shaun instead of coming off as overtly dim and inane. If you know the money is in a safe, why are you pulling up couch cushions?

While it may not be anything original, Breaking In is a whole lot of fun. There are just enough stupid decisions and suspenseful moments to provoke a myriad of reactions and the crowd participation enhances the experience.

Maria Jackson
Review by Maria Jackson
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