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Gurglings of a Putrid Stream

Thoughts on books and other assorted topics.

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My name:  Brian Martin

Trespass (2011), directed by Joel Schumacher

Trespass (DVD + Digital Copy) -

A fast-talking dealmaker must put his negotiating skills to the ultimate test when his home is invaded by four desperate criminals.


That, at any rate, is the best of several competing premises that make this film a jumble of half-ideas and unfinished business.


Nicolas Cage is Kyle Miller, the hard-driving, fast-talking businessman whose current project -- he's the middle-man for a number of diamond deals that may or may not be strictly on the level -- gets him targeted by the murderous thieves. Or are they targeted because of his wife, Sarah (Nicole Kidman), who may have had an affair with one of them? Well, we know it isn't because of their sneaky teenage daughter, Avery (Liana Liberato), though through an amazing coincidence, she may hold the key to their freedom.


It's only PC to get everyone in on the act, even if it makes the movie absurd and unbelievable. In something approaching a real home invasion, one with money as the bottom line, wife and daughter would be useful tools for coercing husband into giving up his wealth. But here, wife is protected by Jonah (Cam Gigandet), the psycho slug with whom she was previously acquainted. And since to hurt Avery is to hurt Sarah, that really only leaves Kyle -- and leaves us wondering why the women are there at all.


They're there, of course, to sow dissension among the ranks of the criminals, a tired idea that looks positively exhausted here. I hate to be the one to tell thugs their business, but all they had to do was take the women into another room, and all their internal differences would have been settled.


What happens instead is a lot of yelling and gun-pointing and the making of empty threats and more gun-pointing as, through flashbacks, we learn the underlying dynamics of this little band of nimrods. None of them are sympathetic characters, which is just fine with me, but combine that with Kyle's seeming disinterest in his family, Avery's rebelliousness, and Sarah's possible infidelity and the whole thing becomes incomprehensible. Who are we supposed to root for?


You might not turn this movie off -- Cage and Kidman are all right, after all -- but it's the kind of movie you might think you did, once your brain dumps its short-term memory.