Film Comment: Why on earth did Kidman and Cage say yes to Trespass?

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This ludicrous home-invasion thriller from Joel Schumacher failed miserably at the cinema. It isn’t hard to understand why. Although it stars A-listers Nicole Kidman and Nicholas Cage as a rich couple with a whiny teenage daughter, the film provides very little in terms of entertainment value. Some may get sadistic pleasure from watching two usually respectable actors floundering hopelessly with a god-awful script, but after you’ve sat through Kidman screeching and Cage shouting for over half an hour I think most would wish they were put out of their misery.

The gang that invade their posh, self-designed home all have issues. There’s a cute one, a bully, a gun-lover, a crack-addict. The dynamics between them are explored, with attempts to humanise them with underdeveloped back-stories, but it all feels rather garbled and contrived.

Cage and Kidman have both given superb performances in the past, but here they are laughably bad. It’s baffling as to why they signed on to be in the film in the first place.

The psychological soul-searching all gets very hysterical, particularly in the final act where a few insultingly preposterous twists are rolled out. When the dialogue doesn’t work, violence, flames and destruction replace it. It’s as if Schumacher is trying to recreate Michael Haneke’s Funny Games via Die Hard. It really doesn’t work.

Trespass (2011), directed by Joel Schumacher, is distributed on Blu-ray disc and DVD in the UK by Lionsgate, Certificate 15.

 

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Second year BA Film & English Student. Watches too many films and enjoys good novels.

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