Cage and Kidman fail to save dull, mediocre thriller

2012-02-06 00:00

NOT even seasoned professionals Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman could save this film from being a loud, noisy mess from start to finish. Experienced director Joel Schumacher (Tigerland, The Phantom of the Operaand Veronica Guerin) lets down an audience expecting his usual quality direction.

It’s just an ordinary night for the Miller family: diamond trader and inattentive husband Kyle, played by a badly cast Nicolas Cage, his elegant wife, Sarah (Nicole Kidman), and sulky teenager Avery (Liana Liberato). Intruders break in, disguised as police, and are after the contents of Kyle’s safe, which may or may not contain diamonds. Gradually we learn more about the criminals and their various backgrounds in relation to the Millers and each other.

This film cost $3 500 000 (R27 million) to make and took a highly embarrassing $16 816 before being pulled from cinemas. Just 18 days later DVD versions were already on the shelves. That pretty much says it all.

Most of the 90-minute film is taken up by masked men waving around guns and shouting, Nicole Kidman lying on the floor weeping, Nicolas Cage adamantly refusing to open his safe and various characters shouting “Run!” to other family members. The characters aren’t relatable; instead of rooting for their survival, you are willing to sacrifice them to the gunmen if it means the film will end quicker. The film title is weak and the plot is clichéd and plays out your typically overused Hollywood blockbuster template. The supposed thugs are all talk and no action and the dialogue is melodramatic and unrealistic.

The audience begins to tire as the same scenario plays out over and over again with an overly dramatic final scene. An attempt at a significant link between the gunmen and the Millers induces eye-rolling, and even the psychotic, Tic-Tac popping intruder Jonah’s (Cam Gigandet) toned body as he emerges, smouldering, from the pool is not enough to salvage this film.

It was dull and mediocre, but action thriller fans might have the will to see it out to the violent and unlikely end. **

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