If the famously inept, no-budget auteur memorialized by Johnny Depp in Tim Burton's Ed Wood had gone and made a home invasion movie - and somebody had given Wood a few extra bucks to rent a house out of Architectural Digest - Trespass may have been the result.
Actually, Ed Wood's Trespass would have been vastly more watchable than Joel Schumacher's Trespass - an astoundingly senseless thriller featuring Nicolas Cage, Nicole Kidman, and a band of masked goons. (The word thriller is used very loosely.)
Cage is Kyle Miller, a diamond broker up to his hair plugs in debt - a fact he's been hiding from his wife, Sarah (Kidman), and their bratty teenager, Avery (Liana Liberato). Kyle's working the phones, desperately looking for a deal that will save his sorry, um, assets, while Sarah's going through her dresser drawers, picking out designer lingerie. And pouty Avery is getting ready to climb out the window and sneak off to a party her parents have forbidden her to attend. It's a school night, after all.
Enter the bad guys.
And exit anything resembling real human behavior - except, that is, for the behavior exhibited by a pair of Hollywood stars secure in the knowledge that their paychecks have been deposited in the bank.
Perhaps Trespass was conceived as a morality play: the comeuppance of yuppie greedheads living beyond their means, forced to cower and grovel as a group of angry villains (representing the struggling working class) take them hostage, stealing their jewels and demanding the combination to the safe. If this is what Schumacher and screenwriter Karl Gajdusek had in mind, however, maybe the bad guys shouldn't have been shown to be such a bunch of complete knuckleheads.
Their leader (Ben Mendelsohn) lets fly with histrionic rationalizations for his thievery; his sidekick, Jonah (Cam Gigandet), has a crush on Mrs. Miller. (He'd already scoped out the house, disguised as a security alarm technician - a fact we learn in a series of provocative flashbacks in which we're led to believe that Kidman's character and this hunky thug had bedded down.) And then there's the gang's tattooed henchwoman (Jordana Spiro), who seems angry that Sarah has a nice wardrobe and some high-end kitchen appliances.
Cage has a long history of making schlock (Bangkok Dangerous, anyone?), and Kidman has signed on to dubious endeavors over the years, too (Bewitched?), but Trespass represents a new low for the two stars.
As Sarah lies there, bound and grimacing, her husband's life in jeopardy, she lets loose with a banshee wail of "NO-O-O-O- O-O-O!"
Contact movie critic Steven Rea at 215-854-5629 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Read his blog, "On Movies Online," at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/onmovies/