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Trespass Review: The One Where Nic Cage and Nicole Kidman Shout

By Dustin Rowles | Film | October 18, 2011 |

By Dustin Rowles | Film | October 18, 2011 |

I don’t know how else to describe Joel Schumacher’s home invasion thriller, Trespass, except that it’s a incompetent hybrid of Funny Games, Panic Room, and Straw Dogs with an enormous amount of yelling. It’s about a fast-talking diamond dealer, Kyle (Nic Cage); his bored housewife, Sarah (Nic Kidman); and their sullen daughter, Avery (Liana Liberato), who are held at gunpoint inside their own home by three thugs and a female junkie. They want diamonds, and Kyle is in no mood to give them up, for reasons that aren’t immediately clear.

The plot can be broken down as such: The thugs shout, “GIVE US THE DIAMONDS.” Kyle yells back, “NO. YOU’LL KILL US.” Sarah screams, “RUN AVERY.” Avery, meanwhile, sits in a corner and pouts. At some point, she might have lost her hearing BECAUSE OF ALL THE SHOUTING. This goes on for an hour and a half.

There are a few revelations: The diamonds aren’t in the safe; Sarah may or may not be involved with one of the thugs played by Cam Gigandet; and the thugs may or may have it in for each other. All of these secrets are revealed early on, and the rest of the movie plays out in a very rote, SHOUTING fashion. It’s hard to understand anyone, because everyone is yelling over each other.

Nic Cage, who is wearing some sort of dead animal on his head, is in restrained batshit mode, which is to say: He hollers and yowls and shrieks, but it’s not fun or weird or NOT THE BEES-Y. Nicole Kidman screams and cries and screams and cries, and after she’s done with that, she screams and cries some more. Schumacher, meanwhile, directs with all the flair of a 72-year-old man who just doesn’t give a shit. Honestly, he probably doesn’t.

I won’t deny that it’s not a times moderately engaging, but it’s never good. It’s never interesting, and it’s never surprising. The characters are boring and unlikable, the thin plot is inert, the staging is messy, and the $35 million budget is wasted on two actors who could not be less interested in being in Trespass. But the house is gorgeous.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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