There’s an entertaining film deep inside Trespass waiting to come out, as there’s a narrative about a man forced to reconcile his existence with his family despite all the lies he’s been telling during a home invasion. And with a cast top lined by a pair of Oscar winners, you’d think even a director like Joel Schumacher could turn this into something better than a laughably bad thriller. You’d think so but in reality Trespass is a candidate for the worst film of 2011.
Kyle (Cage) is a diamond merchant who seemingly has it all. He has a beautiful house designed by a gorgeous wife (Kidman) and a daughter (Liana Liberato) who has typical teenager problems. When a home invasion comes in, and everyone involved seems to have the upper hand on Kyle and his family and stop him at every turn he takes to get away. He’s going to have to find a way to stop them, and save his family, as the robbery turns into something even deeper as the robbers aren’t exactly who they appear to be.
Told through flashbacks, this is a film that has a rancid narrative structure. The film begins with the home invasion and continually flashes back to fill in information at convenient moments, as if to tell the audience why something is happening immediately after it has, and it becomes a such stilted narrative that it ends up becoming a Deus Ex Machina in order after a while. There are so many plot holes that develop that flashbacks become an easy narrative cheat; as soon as a hole begins to develop it gets filled in with a flashback to explain it all.
If it were a straightforward story it would become much stronger; the flashback style takes away from what could be a story of deception of both victim and criminal. It doesn’t hurt that everyone involved seemingly doesn’t care. You know how you can tell?
Nicolas Cage isn’t wearing a ridiculous hairpiece.
That’s kind of the sign that Cage is nominally caring about his role in a genre film; by wearing something ridiculous that in no way looks real. It’s as if with a hairpiece that looks like it could be his actual hair Cage is actually not trying this time. Usually in genre films Cage goes over the top with ridiculous hair as if to wink and nod to the audience that he’s in on the joke. He doesn’t seem to care in Trespass as he’s clearly going through the notions; this is a stock character and could’ve been played by any handful of actors not nearly as famous as Cage and the film wouldn’t miss a beat. You could say the same for Nicole Kidman, going for an American accent at various points throughout the film but occasionally slipping into her more familiar Aussie accent at times. This is Kidman in a familiar place after an appearance in Just Go With It earlier this year; taking a film for the paycheck as opposed to the quality of the part. It’s a generic role in a generic film and she gives a fairly generic performance.
In a year where Nicolas Cage seems to be having an internal competition to see how many horrible films he can be a major part of in 12 months, Trespass might be the worst.
Director: Joel Schumacher Notable Cast: Nicolas Cage, Nicole Kidman, Cam Gigandet, Jordana Spiro, Liana Liberato Writer(s): Eli Richbourg and Karl Gajdusek
Scott Sawitz is an Inside Pulse original. He's also been featured on The Ultimate Fighter.com, Fox Sports.com, Nerdcore Movement.com, CagePotato.com, Inside Fights.com and Film Arcade.net (among others). When Scott isn't writing about film he's making his own. Check out Drunk Justice Productions right here.