Breaking (2022)

Breaking (2022)

Movie Details

Movie: Breaking (2022)
Director: Abi Damaris Corbin
Cast: John Boyega, Nicole Beharie, and Selenis Leyva
Genres: Thriller/Crime
Release date: 26 August 2022
IMDB Rating: 6.9/10
Language: English
Duration: 1h 43m


Breaking (2022)


Brian Brown-Easly was a real-life war veteran who held a US bank hostage in 2017 after the Department of Veterans Affairs allegedly refused to cash his disability check. Interesting, but not really that shocking for the United States. Of course, most people have not heard of this at first glance attractive story until today. And I have a feeling, unfortunately, that the film adaptation called Breaking, starring John Boyega and the late Michael Kenneth Williams, won’t change that much. The right question, however, is whether it even made sense to process this relatively short thriller plot.

The film, which has been available on VOD platforms for a few days, is only 103 minutes long, and even that seems like a lot. The main problem lies in the very end. It will come at a moment when most viewers will not expect it at all because they are already used to some kind of dramatic structure in the genre of bank/negotiation thrillers with a bunch of hostages, the police, and loved ones watching everything on TV. Imagine a standard three-act film, Breaking for reasons related to the adaptation of this particular true story ends at the end of the second third. Not only is there a lack of any catharsis, but even the largely invented and added things subsequently seem rather hasty, strange, and inappropriate.

Of course, director Abi Damaris Corbin’s film gives the plot the desired context. Again, however, we come across the fact that even that was quite simple, so the film doesn’t have much room to maneuver with facts or time. What’s more, John Boyega took on the main character with great pleasure. Not only was Brian a war veteran discharged home after being injured, but he also appeared to suffer from paranoia, was on medication, had a complicated relationship with his family, and generally presented himself as a troubled but at heart good man who believed he had been wronged. And you will see all this in the film. At the same time, there isn’t much else.

To fill time, the script repeats, for example, one scene of Brian and his daughter three times for maximum literalness, while it is practically irrelevant to the plot. The same can be said for several other shots or dialogues, which should normally serve to deepen this or that character or event. However, everything takes place on such a superficial level that it sometimes seems rather unintentionally comical. Add a lousy place where most of the time you sit like a thorn waiting for the plot to finally get going, only to have everything unexpectedly cut short, and you have an experience that, despite the obvious craftsmanship of the people behind the camera, I can hardly recommend to anyone.

Anyway, I don’t believe that the creators were not aware of being bound by such a “template”. I don’t care now how much space someone has, how little tension the film can create in the viewer, or that in many places the actions of the characters make no sense. These mistakes are never the sign of an exemplary screenplay, but they can be forgiven. Here, however, someone probably hoped that the finale would be, firstly, all-telling, and secondly, strong enough in itself to compensate for the remaining shortcomings. Neither failed miserably in my opinion. On the contrary, it revealed even more the dysfunctional skeleton of the story, which simply did not fit well on the silver screen at all.

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