Review by Siobhán Rich for Mr. Will Wong
Chad Cutler was raised by his father Colby in the family business of thievery. The illiterate father of two wants to escape his life of living in a caravan trailer but is thwarted at every turn by his father, societal prejudice, and his own inability to change. Trespass Against Us stars Michael Fassbender in a role that combines many of the parts that his fans have loved so much over the years: husband, loving father, scamp, and thief. If a person is the sum of his parts, then Chad should be a great character to follow. Yet somehow he isn’t.
Alastair Siddons’ story of Irish Travelers living in the English countryside is an interesting look inside a world many North Americans never see. The characters, however, are not written to be sympathetic which may alienate audiences who aren’t there to cheer on their favourite X-Men villian.
Every time Chad thinks about escaping his life he goes about it in a seemingly lazy manner. He wants to “go straight” and get away from the family business but still wants to rely on the Travelers for his sense of community. The character’s fatal flaw of his devotion to his father and way of life detracts from his antihero gloss as a loving father who will clearly go great lengths to earn his children’s love.
Stealing his onscreen son’s thunder is Brendan Gleeson as Colby; a tracksuit wearing leader who has no use for normalized society, schooling, or anyone who doesn’t agree with him. Although Fassbender holds his own it is difficult to argue against Gleeson being the glue that holds the Movie together.
Director Adam Smith clearly enjoys shooting car chases and this is where the movie truly shines. Whether it’s the police or just a rabbit running for its life the camera moves with thrilling precision during these brief climatic interludes.
Mention must be made of the movie’s score provided by the elecontrica duo The Chemical Brothers. The pair have worked before with Smith and were clearly been given free rein to stretch and create a stunning soundscape for the Cutler family.
Not every Movie from TIFF ’16 can go on to be an Oscar giant. Trespass Against Us is a passable Movie to get audiences through the doldrums of January and deserves to be seen for the strong performances from Fassbender and Gleeson.
Elevation Pictures opens on Friday, January 27, 2017.
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