Blu-ray Review: Breaking In

By , Contributor
Released theatrically back in May, home-invasion thriller Breaking In held its own and found an audience despite competition from the Avengers: Infinity War juggernaut and the heavily-marketed Melissa McCarthy comedy Life of the Party. Now Breaking In is out on Blu-ray from Universal Studios and will undoubtedly reach an even wider audience. The low-budget scrapper stars Gabrielle Union as a tough-as-nails mom who draws upon deep reserves of courage to protect her kids during a break-in. Modest box office hit, modestly enjoyable 90-minute diversion.

Shaun (Union) is settling her recently-deceased father Isaac's (Damien Leake) affairs. She and kids Jasmine (Ajiona Alexus) and Glover (Seth Carr) travel to the technologically-advanced smart home left behind by Isaac. Due to her departed father's wealth, criminal mastermind Eddie (Billy Burke) has led a team of robbers—widely varying in terms of intelligence and temperament—to breach the home's security and steal everything they can. They didn't count on Shaun and her kids being there, so the family winds up getting to the house when Eddie and his men are already inside.

That's it, really. Shaun winds up locked out of the house, with her kids trapped inside with the robbers, and will stop at nothing to defeat the bad guys. Gabrielle Union delivers a sharp, focused performance that helps make Breaking In the marginally-successful programmer it is. I began by point out that the film found an audience in theaters, because it's surprising this film didn't go direct-to-video or streaming.

As something one might stumble across while searching Netflix, this is a minor gem. Despite normally reliable name actors, the DTV landscape is still routinely littered with nearly unwatchable trash. When compared with something like Sylvester Stallone's recent Escape Plan 2, Breaking In is a classic. But even in theaters, something about Breaking In seemed to click with viewers. My guess is that it's the strong turn by the ageless Union. Otherwise Breaking In is pretty standard-issue.

Universal's Blu-ray offers both the theatrical cut and an unrated "Director's Cut." The supplements package includes audio commentary, deleted scenes (14 minutes), an alternate opening, and four short (five minutes or less) featurettes.

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Chaz Lipp is a Las Vegas-based musician and freelance writer. His new jazz album 'Good Merlin' is now available.

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