It's a movie. It's called Trespass.
Wednesday, September 14, 9:30 p.m.
Roy Thomson Hall (60 Simcoe Street)
Thursday, September 15, 2:30 p.m.
Visa Screening Room (189 Yonge Street)
The home invasion set-up should be surefire. From Cul de Sac through to Funny Games, Panic Room, and Inside, the idea of being pinned in your own home, your security turned against you, has proved seductively thrilling. Leave it to Joel Schumacher to bung it up. Beginning with some awful one-sided phone chatting, in which Nic Cage’s professional diamond fencer, Kyle, works through the details of some transaction, Trepass sets itself on a furious descent into a mire of joyless hackdom. After their high-security vanity mansion is invaded by some crooks posing as cops, Kyle and his wife (a bedraggled, washed-out Nicole Kidman) must harness their minimal wits to keep themselves and their daughter (Liana Liberato) safe. Of course, the plot turns here and there, revealing a more “complex” relationship between the home invaders, but it’s so loud and narrow-minded that it’s hard to care at all.
Schumacher directs with a baseline competence that situates him in the pantheon of passably capable auteurs like the MovieTron-5000 and the hypothetical million chimpanzees. Even the film’s one brilliant intervention—that Kyle is broke and living the high life on credit—which seems to knowingly suggest Cage’s own insolvency, disappoints in its suggestion of a better film in which Schumacher took the JCVD route and just had these goons barnstorm one of Cage’s own mansions. And alas, even Cage, whose sink into manic scenery-chewing just seems lazy, is bad enough to make even his most ardent defenders wince. Lousy.