Someone needs to occupy Nicolas Cage, because just like the fat cats on Wall Street, he’s letting the checks determine his material and that’s
how we end up with the unintentionally hilarious Trespass.
Joel Schumacher seeks to regain his glory days of the ’80s with a genre pic right out of…uh the eighties: good old fashioned home invasion. Maybe he thought with home invasions occurring so frequently in real life that he could make it cinematically cool again. Unfortunately, it looks as though he didn’t get the news that just like Blazing Saddles helped kill the western, so did Home Alone kill the home invasion.
Nicolas Cage looking really tired and a bit bloated is Kyle Miller, a diamond dealer trying hard to close a deal during a phone call that looks less believable than a toddler with a pretend one. Once he enters the family mansion, he breaks up a fight between his wife Sarah (Nicole Kidman) and his daughter
Avery (Liana Liberato). He then rejects any romantic gesture from Sarah. Turning down Nicole Kidman is where all suspended disbelief becomes
Despite having a security system and a safe you’d only find in the Batcave, a quartet of faux security wearing ski masks make their way inside the Miller home. The husband and wife are taken captive and told to open the safe and give up the diamonds or they’ll end up dead, maimed or just knocked out. They can’t decide which.
However, Kyle puts on some negotiating skills that would get him a lifetime gig at the U.N. as he argues, debates, cajoles and best of all insults the kidnappers for most of the film. Sure, they give him a 15 minute deadline which they admit goes over an hour, but who cares, Kyle isn’t budging. The negotiation lasts so long that his daughter has time to sneak out of the house, go to a party and come back home only to land blows to the bad guys and then her old man. Yes, Nick Cage gets out toughed by a girl. While Kyle tries to con his way out of this mess, he also has to figure out Sarah’s strange connection to one of the bad guys named Jonah (Cam Gigandet).
Before you ask how two Oscar winners got corralled into this clunker, keep in mind that Schumacher worked with Cage and Kidman before in 8MM and Batman Forever respectively. There’s something to be said for the power of friendship in this town. Cage is clearly going through the motions either to pay off personal or professional debts. To his credit, he makes for one hell of a smart-ass victims. No matter if he’s beaten, stabbed or burned, he’s always got a one-liner headed by the f-word to hand to his captors. I can’t recall hearing so much laughter in a theater and I sat next to people who hadn’t laughed since the civil war.
The criminal equivalent to the Washington Generals led by Ben Mendleson will keep you laughing as they constantly threaten Cage and Kidman, managing to barely intimidate the carpeting before it gets physical with around 15 minutes to go…and over an hour past their deadline. Not only does he come with a 2 dollar mustache, but a crackhead girlfriend, Petal (Jordana Spiro) with more tattoos than active brain cells and a strong desire to test out Nicole’s unmentionables. By the way, did I mention Gigandet’s character is on meds?
Thanks to Schumacher’s creativity, you just can’t stop watching these human dumpster fires and laughing all the way as they trip over themselves. I’m sure they were supposed to be intimidating, but the end result is Die Hard meets Jerry Springer, complete with all the fights, drug use and alleged infidelity.
You’re probably thinking why didn’t this movie just go direct to video. Well, actually, it is. Despite theater owners fighting tooth and nail for Universal not to release Tower Heist to test their new PVOD (Premium Video on Demand) service, they had no problem with letting Trespass go directly to cable while it’s debuting on the big screen.
Don’t spend thirteen bucks on this movie unless you’re running from the cops and you need a place to hide, but if you have a couple dollars and a need to escape, get it On Demand. The laughs alone are worth it, intentional or not.