26 Nov

Title: Trespass
Year: 2011
Director: Joel Schumacher
Writer: Karl Gajdusek
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Nicole Kidman, Cam Gigandet, Jordana Spiro, Ben Mendelsohn
MPAA Rating: R, violence and terror, pervasive language and some brief drug use
Runtime: 91 min
Major Awards: –
IMDb Rating: 5.3
Rotten Tomatoes: 11%

When I heard there was a psychological thriller made by Joel Schumacher and starring Nicolas Cage I just couldn’t wait to get my hands on it, the combination of the two seem destined to make this one the sort of train wreck of a movie that I would like to watch and laugh at. Yes, Nicole Kidman co-starred here, and that indeed gave it a sense of respectability, but I mean, it was obvious this one was going to suck. Thankfully, reception to the film indeed indicated it was horrible, and after grossing a measly $25’000 at the box office (against a $35 million budget) the film was pulled from theaters after just ten days, and only an extra week after that passed before it was available on DVD.

Mr. Schumacher is of course best known for his entries in the Batman franchise, with 1995’s Batman Forever (which starred Ms. Kidman) and, most infamously, the sequel to that one, 1997’s Batman & Robin, which was just utterly horrible and is best remembered because of the nipples in George Clooney’s batsuit. He has some good films in his filmography but lately Mr. Schumacher has become a director I just don’t really care for at all, he directed 2003’s Phone Booth which I thought was damn great, but other than that he’s just been churning out all of these really mediocre films again and again, like last year’s Twelve (to which I gave a C-).

Trespass is another one of those really mediocre films, the kind of thriller that Mr. Schumacher can probably now make without any effort at all and that’s just really bad entertainment, I really can’t see anyone liking this film. But then there’s Nicolas Cage. This is an actor who’s become famous nowadays not for his great performances of the past (the guy has an Oscar, people) but because for the past decade or so the man has apparently been saying yes to every script that comes his way, even though the vast majority of the times those turn out to be seriously horrible films.

I count myself amongst those who can’t wait to see what Mr. Cage does next, and that’s precisely because he’s become such a weird kind of sellout, the guy will play any kind of role no questions asked. And I’m interested in that because in the occasions when the films he makes aren’t bad, they either turn out to be seriously awesome like The Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call – New Orleans from 2009 which proved the guy can still be a damn fine actor, or they get to the point in which they’re so crazy bad that they fly off the rails and end up being really entertaining, which was the case previously this year with the unhinged Drive Angry, to which I actually gave a B+.

There are moments in Trespass that made me think this one was part of that group, the films that are so bad they actually become good halfway through their running time, mostly because the dialogue here is already so ridiculously frantic that you can just imagine how hilarious it sounds coming from the mouth of Mr. Cage, the lines he gets here are just prime for a guy like him who just loves to amp it up to eleven and overact his ass off.

Mr. Cage’s character here is Kyle Miller, a diamond dealer close to going bald who has a troubled relationship with his wife, which is the character Ms. Kidman plays here. That already-troubled marriage is put to the ultimate test as a team of crooks invades their home (yes, this is a home invasion claustrophobic thriller done by Joel Schumacher, you can go ahead and giggle at what’s to come next). What’s awesome is that the reason for the break-in is never really clear and the thieves actually start offering up all these different reasons for why they broke in and what they want to get, it’s all kinds of funny.

Everything that happens afterwards is just as silly, you have a daughter who left home in the nick of time coming back and instead of calling for help as she heard the menacing voices of the thieves she calls for her mom and dad. And then of course you have this stupid little sideplot in which Ms. Kidman’s character realizes that one of the crooks is actually the security guard with whom she had been trading lustful glances. That security guard is played by Cam Gigandet who’s just horrible in the role, twitching every second and trying to look like a psycho, because that’s apparently mandatory for this group of thieves, they’re all made out to look as crazy people with some sort of mania, which leads to actors trying to match Mr. Cage’s overacting. Which, in case you were wondering, just can’t be done.

This is a bad movie people, we get crooks who change the reason for their criminal endeavor every other second, and it just starts off totally crazy and just adds a lot of ridiculous kooky stuff to it as it goes along. And it doesn’t matter because Mr. Schumacher directs it in a way that he makes it obvious he doesn’t care about how much he throws into this one and just how little of it is actually plausible. And yet, I can’t get myself to hate this film, because even though it’s not a so-bad-it’s-good film from Nicolas Cage, there’s still something fun about seeing him being given free range to start talking feverishly at a thousand miles an hour.

Grade: C


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