Joel Schumacher strikes again, making an enjoyable borderline B-movie with his latest release Trespass, starring Nic Cage and Nicole Kidman. Naysayers aside, the guy manages to get my hackles up and this movie is no exception. From the moment it begins, Trespass puts on no airs. It is a straight-up home invasion movie where the people under attack fight back to varying degrees, and that's it. Nothing else to see here. Lucky for us, Schumacher doesn't make us sit through anything that doesn't directly apply to this central idea.
Sure, there isn't much in the way of character development, but I never expect that from Schumacher, who also directed Phone Booth and 8MM. With performers as bonkers as Nic Cage and Ben Mendelsohn, it gets close enough to B-movie territory to provide some sparkle. Had it not been for them amping up the ridiculousness, the movie would have just felt like a very long episode of CSI.
The movie is as simple as Us against Them. Cage plays Kyle, a high-powered businessman with a perfect house, wife and daughter. Of course the cracks show within the first few minutes of the movie--his wife Sarah (Kidman) is starved for attention and his daughter Avery (Liana Liberato) is a normal, obnoxious teenager. All of a sudden their fortress of a house is invaded by people that would put any private investigator to shame with the research they've been doing. They know everything, and they want what Kyle's got hidden in his safe. Once Kyle gets the message across that all the research in the world couldn't prepare them for the reality of their situation, the movie becomes a big screaming match between different combinations of all the cast members.
So, we've seen this movie before, yes? But here's the key: When characters start having a "Crazy Off" in which they are competing for the title of Most Mentally Unstable Person in the House, things get fun to watch. This is the best thing I have ever seen Burlesque's Cam Gigandet do--he might be beautiful, but it turns out that he plays delusional pretty darn well too. Also earning a spot on my list for Favorite Train Wrecks of 2011 is Jordana Spiro playing crack-addicted Petal, who sashays around the house wearing stolen party dresses like she's in her very own drug addict fashion show. Sprinkle on a helping of the aforementioned Crazed Cage, and you have a pretty delicious little snack to stave off your hunger until the holiday movie season buffet arrives.