Movie Review: Trespass Against Us (Lights, Camera, Action!)

By Derek Winnert 05.03.2017

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Trespass Against Us (UK Rating: 15)

First, the good news. Acting heavyweight legends - can they be called that? - Brendan Gleeson and Michael Fassbender, play father and son of a family of English travellers. They are Colby and Chad, the leaders of the Cutler family who live with some other like-minded outlaw-type folk in a semi-permanent camp and take to criminal deeds. Trespass Against Us is belatedly out in the UK on 3rd March 2017, after its US release on 24th November, 2016.

Now, the less good news: Gleeson and Fassbender never really convince as father and son, or as Gloucestershire travellers, for that matter, what with their looks, as well as accents that travel back and fro from West Country to Irish. Well, those watching will know what Gleeson's son would actually look like - Domhnall Gleeson - and Fassbender doesn't really fit the bill. They do play their roles brilliantly, though. They are certainly the show main event, and it is one mesmerising attraction.

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The description of the film is that 'a man looks to find a way to escape the criminal ways of his outlaw family,' but the actual movie doesn't give out that vibe at all. He just loves the criminal ways, especially if that involves taunting idiot copper, PC Lovage (a hammy Rory Kinnear - Lettice not being available, presumably).

After quite some while, in a short-ish film that fails to suggest where it might be heading, a plot of a kind sets in, as the extended family break into the county boss' stately home and pinch stately stuff. This… gets them in trouble with the police, and PC Lovage, particularly, is not amused.

Chad may be looking to find a way to escape the criminal ways, but only when it is far too late. Yes, he would like to help his girlfriend, Kelly (Lyndsey Marshal), and their two kids, Tyson (Georgie Smith) and Mini (Kacie Anderson), to break free from their poor life and do… well, who knows exactly?

Trespass Against Us provides a situation, a premise, and involving characters played thrillingly, and some astounding dialogue by Alastair Siddons that is both shocking and funny. It does not offer a story, however. None of this is anything particularly new, yet it is acted and directed in the most exciting fashion by Adam Smith in his promising feature debut.


 
Marshal, Smith, and Anderson are really great, too - not easy while acting alongside two heavyweights. Sean Harris is okay, but he has a difficult task to animate his alienating, demented character of Gordon Bennett. Fassbender perhaps needs to be 10 years younger for his role, as well, but he's a sizzling performer, and Gleeson is nearly as memorable despite it being the supporting performance, and again having to play an alienating, demented character.

6/10
Rated 6 out of 10

Good

Trespass Against Us is a very in-your-face sort of movie. Although it has a 15 certificate, the language and violent lawless behaviour are far stronger than comfort level, and Harris shows off far more than viewers really need to see. However, it's all much preferable to one of those period set movies that make up so much of British cinema nowadays, and audiences can certainly look forward to the next work from Smith and Siddons.

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