'Breaking In' (2018) Review: The Weigh In

'Breaking In' (2018) Review: The Weigh In
courtesy of Universal Studios

Gabrielle Union is the main attraction for the film ‘Breakin In’. This was a clever strategy on behalf of Universal Studios to promote a mother’s day weekend box-office-hit film that ties into the theme of “mother protecting her young”. I was pleasantly entertained by this suspense-thriller, which is produced by James Lopez, Craig Perry
Sheila Hanahan Taylor, and most importantly Gabrielle Union and Will Packer.

The story begins as an older gentleman named Isaac (Damien Leake) is going for a morning jog. Isaac has been killed, most likely because of his involvement in criminal activity (and being indicted by the DA). The protagonist Shaun Russell (Gabrielle Union) comes back to her childhood home in Wisconsin with her children, Grover (Seth Carr) and Jasmin (Ajionna Alexis). Shaun plans on selling the home as fast as she can. It appears that her father has created the house to be a fortress of sorts (with expensive gadgets and security.) On the first night of their arrival, they find that the home has been broken into  by a band of criminals. The felons  have taken Shaun’s children hostage. She becomes angry, then desperate and pleads for her children’s lives. Shaun deduces that if she can get to her children or the money first maybe there’s a chance at survival….

The band of criminals will stop at nothing to crack open the safe that contains 4 million. There are four types of criminals in this band. A mastermind/leader-Eddie (Billy Burke), the gopher/weasel-Sam (Levi Meaden), the crazy and unstable/executioner-Duncan (Richard Cabral) , and the hack-Peter (Mark Furze).

There are various twists and turns that our protagonist endures along the antagonists themselves. This makes for good entertainment. I was on the edge of my seat wondering what Shaun was going to do next. It was almost like watching chess. The tension began to build as time progressed. Shaun tries one last time to plead with the miscreants, but she finds it is of no use. She must play offense instead of defense to survive. Eddie realizes that  his gang are at a slight disadvantage by taking the children from Shaun (because it makes her desperate and unpredictable). Also…. they only have 90 minutes to accomplish their heist before the police/security show up.


Gabrielle Union steals the show in this mother’s day suspense-thriller.’Breaking In’ was shot well. I liked how some scenes focused on looking inward and some looking outward of the home. This film demonstrated great use of space which showed both various levels of proximity and urgency (mostly all scenes filmed at the house or surrounding area).

Overall, I thought it was a clever strategy to promote this film during the mother’s day weekend of 2018.  I would give this film a 3 stars out of 4. Not bad for a 1st weekend box office which came to a close third after ‘Life of the Party’ ($17 million and change). Black female-led films are proving that they can hold their own when it comes to theatrical releases. As well as Gabrielle Union as producer, Will Packer is at it again with a successful female-led box office hit (after last year’s Girl’s Trip). He has found a successful formula and hopefully he can maintain his momentum. Can’t wait for the next!

The cast includes but not limited to:

Gabrielle Union-Shaun Russell
Seth Carr-Glover Russell
Ajiona Alexus-Jasmine Russell
Christa Miller-Maggie Harris
Jason George-Justin Russell
Billy Burke-Eddie
Richard Cabral-Duncan
Levi Meaden-Sam
Mark Furze-Peter
Damien Leake-Isaac

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