Main Menu

THE REEL: Breaking In

More by this Author

It’s been a while since Gabrielle Union starred as the main character in a movie.

In Breaking In not only is she the main actor and protagonist of the movie, she is also one of the producers.

The movie follows Shaun Russell (Gabrielle) who has just inherited her father’s estate, who is recently deceased. She has had to move with her family across states in order to get to a mansion that is part of the inheritance. She brings along her two children Jasmine (Ajiona Alexus) and Glover (Seth Carr).

It’s supposed to be a quiet weekend for the family as they clean up the house and make it more homely. However, Shaun’s father’s death was all over the news because he was a prominent person. This brings out scavengers who assume, being in a remote location and Shaun having been estranged from her father, the house is good for looting.


Eddie (Billy Burke) has rounded up a gang of thieves who include Shaun’s father’s former worker Sam (Levi Meaden), security expert Peter (Mark Furze) and ex-convict Duncan (Richard Cabral) to rob the house of cash that was stashed in a safe by the old man before he died. Unfortunately, they find Shaun and her children their and that’s when things go south.

First of all, the location of the said safe is unknown to anyone, neither the thieving crew nor the mother and children. Desperate to ensure the safety of her children from the criminals, Shaun has to find a way to keep the gang preoccupied and away from her children as she tries to get them out of the house in the soonest time possible.


I liked how intense and close to action the shots in the movie were. You feel like you are right in the thick of things.

Every emotion, every strain by the actors was visible and it makes you buy into the characters.

I was pleasantly surprised to see Gabrielle getting down and dirty scaling walls, running fields and even throw down where it was needed to. Her athleticism is not lost to anyone who has seen her, but a lot of movies have been focusing on using her looks rather than physical ability. I haven’t been much of a fan of her works because they are mainly romantic comedies or love stories. I would give her better than average rating just because she committed to the role. The storyline is also a sensible one.

However, there are a lot of black holes on the characters’ backstories, especially Shaun’s. I never quite got to understand what type of person she is. I don’t mean that I needed a full history on her life until the movie, but they kept throwing in attributes to her in conversations that felt like they were actually telling the audience “She is able to do this because she is a mother”.

So, does being a mother a mother automatically make one able to go into super-hero, butt-kicking, wall-crawling mode?

This is the problem I have with especially African-American-produced films. They don’t really go into character formation or plot development as long as there’s a story to tell.

The trailer was so amazing that it made one’s expectations of the movie too high. Maybe the issue was in the movie’s length, but I felt it overlooked a few things.


There’s also some scenes that are just so unbelievable that I couldn’t overlook them: running away from bullets from close range while there’s no obstacles in between, jumps from roofs where one person dies but the other comes off unhurt, not escaping when you have the opportunity because a bigger punishment is due to the next person and so on.

Still, it’s an entertaining movie with good sound and picture quality; even though most of the movie happens at night, you can see everything in perfect clarity.