There are few directors that have taken a beating in recent years as much as one Joel Schumacher. Sure, M. Night Shamalamadingdong has been kneecapped thanks to dismal films such as The Happening and The Last Airbender. And yes, we all like to beat up on Uwe Boll, but Uwe is in a class all his own and does B to C-movies at best, so he can hardly be compared.
Then there is poor Joel Schumacher. Back in his early career, he was considered a visionary. The Lost Boys, St. Elmo’s Fire, Flatliners, Falling Down and A Time to Kill were all strong entries on a resume that would get him through production meeting doors with a green-light agreement to any new pitched project.
Things turned 180 for the filmmaker in 1997 with the release of Batman & Robin. The film starring George Clooney and Arnold Schwarzenegger is still widely considered one of the worst films of all-time.
Schumacher would follow up this dismal effort with Phone Booth, Flawless, The Phantom of the Opera and The Number 23, to name a few. It seemed as if everything that Schumacher touched since the turn of the century was a box office disappointment and Schumacher turned to the horror genre in 2009 with Town Creek to try and again build some Hollywood clout.
Schumacher is back with a budget and a highly anticipated release with Trespass, a film starring A-Listers Nicholas Cage and Nicole Kidman as a couple who are held for ransom in their home by a bunch of hooligan thugs. The thieves are after both cash and diamonds and they believe the family stores in a wall vault. Their persistence and increasing acts of violence towards the family to persuade them to release their fortune will unravel some family secrets – secrets that could put everyone in danger.
Ok. Enough of the plot details formalities. Trespass is one of the worst movies of the year and should be avoided at all costs. All costs. Any more effort we put into the plot might only get your interest levels up when the result of these words is a film that ranks amongst the bottom of all Schumacher films (and that says a lot).
I really can’t blame Schumacher too much on this one. The script as provided by writer Karl Gajdusek is exceptionally bad. From the wooden dialogue by Nicholas Cage’s character driving in the car to open the film to the ridiculous plot twists that were about as believable as anything in The Wizard of Oz, Trespass fails on so many levels, Batman & Robin might shine in its shadow (I said ‘might’).
None of the characters as presented in this dog are believable and their motives even less so. The three males and one female that break into the home are more dysfunctional than the family itself – which clearly has some issues to resolve. For most of the 85-minutes that we were subjected, the characters just yelled at each other, each trying to yell louder than the last. The bad guys, that were so smart and calculated at first introduction, resemble Stooges soon after and their yelling threats become tiresome teetering on the annoying by the time any real peril is introduced to the family. Cage mails his performance in and Kidman has had so many facelifts that she can barely contort her face to present any form of emotion during the ordeal.
The ending is even more ridiculous. In pure crap-film style, the bad guys soon turn on each other and the results had the packed house (those that stayed until the end) laughing at scenes clearly meant for serious intake.
With a budget of $35 million and the names Cage and Kidman attached, this dog is likely to get its money back from an unsuspecting audience and an international fan base that continue to line Cage’s pockets.
But don’t be fooled. This isn’t just a bad Schmuacher film, this is a bad 2011 film and will likely appear on many Worst Of lists when the December roll call is due.