Trespass Against Us
Directed by Adam Smith
When Michael Fassbender and Brendan Gleeson headline a film, you expect it to be worth your time. But Trespass Against Us didn't hold up to its high exception. Trespass Against Us isn't bad, but it also isn't great. It's an "okay" movie that suffers from weak characters and a thin plot but survives because of its outstanding cast.
Chad Cutler (Michael Fassbender) wants only the best for his family. Chad tries to leave his outlaw family and find a better future for his family, but his father (Brendan Gleeson) won't let his favorite son slip out of his life so easily. Colby sets Chad back on the path of crime and violence, ruining the ideal family unit Chad once dreamed of.
Trespass Against Us is a character driven film. So when the character driven film lacks any real tangible characters, it fails to make an impact. Chad was the character that had any potential for redemption (and any development), but he got lost somewhere along the way in the muddled mess of the plot. His character 'arch' is more like a 'wave,' as he oscillates between the new and the old Chad. The rest of the characters are completely one-dimensional. They never stray from their stereotypical personalities types. Much like the characters, the plot lacks personality. But again, the film is a character film. So, when the characters are weak, the plot with subsequently follow. If the characters had been more robust and dimensional, I could have forgiven the film's lack of a plot.
The film did have it's redeeming qualities, though. For one, the film was beautifully shot. Eduard Grau really captured the tension and atmosphere of the narrative with his cinematography. The tone and mood of the film are set perfectly by Grau and Smith, making the picture very atmospheric. The performances of the cast also shone through the cloudy narrative. Fassbender and Gleeson prove to be a great father-son duo. Their chemistry on screen help to bring the flat characters to vibrate life. But the real standout is Lyndsey Marshal as Chad's wife. She gives an honest and real performance and holds her own against her two powerhouse leading men.