Balancing a conventional thriller with unconventional elements that are smart, satirical and even funny, is no easy feat. But veteran director Joel Schumacher (Phone Booth, The Phantom Of The Opera, Batman Forever) manages to do just that without ever relegating sustained suspense to the back burner, in Trespass.
Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman submerge their star power appeal for the duration with some down and dirty antics as Kyle and Sarah Miller, extravagantly wealthy spouses and parents of defiant teen daughter, Avery (Liana Liberato). Primarily absentee husband Kyle is a fierce workaholic fanatically preoccupied with his diamond business.
On the other hand, devoted housewife Sarah mainly mopes around the gleaming, endless corridors of her lavish McMansion, feeling unappreciated and emotionally neglected. And while Avery’s parents are routinely distracted, she’s intent on sneaking off and sampling the life of a party animal.
Which is exactly what she does, the night that a local gang of masked intruders posing as cops, burst into the otherwise tightly sealed fortress. And with the intent of commandeering those diamonds, which they seem to know quite a bit about in advance.
Now, with any typical home invasion heist, the brazen burglars would snatch up their loot from a fearfully accommodating head of household and be merrily on their way. But since Trespass is not only masterminded with witty mayhem by the stylishly unpredictable Schumacher but is also humorously mired in the economic downturn of this tumultuous historical moment, expect nothing less than a bait and switch thriller that will keep audiences nearly as off balance as the unfortunate victims in question.
Which is to say – and without giving too much away – that while the have-nots have shown up at the extravagant estate to spread the wealth, even the economic score a bit and kick some butt, the economic crisis may have already kicked in around here and cleaned house, so to speak. A repeatedly sly switchup that may render Trespass way too excessive in its wielding of over the top violent flourishes. But a deliciously nasty subversion of the genre, that could not have been timelier.
2 1/2 stars