In “But How Gay Is It?”, we seek to answer the biggest questions you have about a new movie release in theaters nowincluding, most crucially, the titular question. Does the movie have any queer characters? Are there stories involving same-sex lovers? Which gay icons star in the film? We’re bringing you all that and more.
What is Breaking In? Shaun Russell protects her kids from burglars by kicking their asses.
Honestly, there’s not much I’m leaving out there. Yeah, the burglars have a specific motivation regarding Shaun’s late father, and yeah, the kids get some good moments of helping their mom in the fight. But really, you’re watching Breaking In to see some cool fight scenes where a mother kicks a bunch of trash men’s asses. It’s pretty cathartic, to be honest.
Who’s in it? Gabrielle Union plays Shaun, and proves to us once again why she’s a 25-year veteran of this business who’s worked steadily across those two-and-a-half decades. Union is a magnetic presence, who imbues her roles with the kind of likability and intelligence that makes you want to root for her immediately. She’s the perfect casting for a part like this.
13 Reasons Why fans will recognize Ajiona Alexus, Sheri on that show, as Shaun’s daughter Jasmine. (On pure looks alone, it’s remarkable castingthey really could be mother and daughter!) Seth Carr plays son Glover, while Billy Burke and Richard Cabral get the most time as the burglars. Cabral goes full-tilt absurd in his role, glowering and menacing and practically licking his lips just to savor all the EEEEEVIL. It’s a wild performance, but it kinda works.
Why should I see it? The reason Cabral’s performance works is because Breaking In is dull. It is really difficult to get invested in anything or anyone that isn’t Shaun, because the plan is so basic and the villains are so incompetent. Not only that, but the movie never gets fun-bad (a la the iconic Obsessed, the true leader in the moms-protecting-kids-through-ass-kicking genre). It’s just boring, and not well-made.
So, like, maybe don’t see it? But I do want us to support Gabrielle Union. So maybe do! Just go in with low expectations.
Do we consider Gabrielle Union a gay icon? We sure do! We got on that bandwagon back when she played rival cheerleading squad captain Isis in Bring It On. Which, to remind you all, the Clovers were universally in the right, and Bring It On was talking about cultural appropriation years before the rest of us were. Bring It On is a perfect movie. Isis is iconic. We will pay proper dues to Queen Gabrielle Union.
Also, she once hosted a Pride party for “some of the most gorgeous, empowered lesbians on the planet” and invited Michael Jordan. Legend.
How short is the movie? Blessedly, 88 minutes. Breaking In knows not to overstay its welcome.
Breaking In is in theaters now.