Thursday, 3 May 2012



Nicolas Cage. No matter how many career-endingly awful movies he churns out, somehow he just keeps coming back for more. His CV is clogged up with terrible, terrible films such as Justice, Knowing, Bangkok Dangerous and Ghost Rider (to be fair, the Ghost Rider sequel was a vast improvement, the pointless 3D notwithstanding), or Neil La Bute's disastrously ill-conceived stab at The Wicker Man. Others have been more or less enjoyable but entirely soulless nonsense - Drive Angry or Season Of The Witch. Maybe there's the hope he'll come up with another Face/Off or Con Air or The Rock - big, loud, demented action pictures - or just an opportunity for his patented bug-eyed shouty freakout schtick such as his Bad Lieutenant re-imagining.

There's not much in the way of wild action or unhinged face-pulling in Trespass, a thoroughly routine but increasingly absurd home invasion thriller in which diamond broker Cage, wife Nicole Kidman and their rebellious teenage daughter are held hostage by a gang of confused imbeciles. They want the diamonds they think he keeps in his safe - or failing that, the hundred grand in cash. Failing that, one of his kidneys. Then they don't really want the kidney, but Kidman's diamond necklace. Matters are complicated by the fact that one of the gang has the hots for Kidman, another takes the first opportunity to get thoroughly stoned, with the result that the criminals spend more time yelling and pointing guns at each other than they do keeping an eye on their captives.

Almost all of the movie takes place in a house supposedly accommodating three people but is approximately the size of Blenheim Palace. Just how much money do these people have? It's a very nice house, but ridiculously vast and ostentatious with its Olympic size pool, glass walls, electronic gates, mood lighting and acres of surrounding woodlands that makes the Southfork Ranch look like an end of terrace inner-city crack den. I'm not a massive socialist, but somehow I still lose a fair whack of sympathy watching the travails of people who live in a house that can boast two postcodes.

The architectural design aside, though, Trespass is boring, stupid and entirely ordinary: it's not even much fun watching Cage being smacked about, shot, tied up, injected with stuff and sworn at repeatedly by clueless halfwits. Good to look at (thanks to DP Andrzej Bartkowiak)but shallow and empty, it's hardly surprising that it's a film by Joel Schumacher, the king of good-looking but shallow and empty. And even by his standards it's pretty lame: he's really not even trying here (something like The Number 23 may have been absolute twaddle but at least he had a stab at making it interesting). It's pretty unremarkable and scarcely worth the effort.



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