Trespass Against Us review

It is hard to make a good movie when even Michael Fassbender can’t save it. It would be unfair, however, to define Trespass Against Us – a film by first time feature director Adam Smith – completely born out of nowhere. Based on a story by Alastair Siddons, who previously worked on a documentary about characters like the ones in this film, Trespass Against Us follows the events that surround the lives of Chad Cutler (Michael Fassbender) and his family. All the characters are part of a small clan of Irish thieves who live somewhere in the western side of the country.

There is no honour among thieves, however, when Chad Cutler, a character who suffers the ever-present figure of his father Colby (Brendan Gleeson), decides to play the black sheep of the family and drift away from the old habits of the clan. He is the father of two children and husband of a wife who doesn’t particularly stand the presence of Chad’s father in their lives as well and make it obvious in almost any scene. Colby is a cumbersome presence in the whole movie, playing as the head of the clan, letting us viewers understand that he personally had some momentum in the building of the clan itself. He himself loves to take care of his nephews by teaching them how to live the clan’s life, substantially made of free swearing and purposely not believing anything the children are told in school.

Chad Cutler is a 75% well rounded character that has hadn’t any education at all, being Colby's son. He is eager to have his children a different life that his and so he makes them go to school and learn how to write and read – things that are at least to say estrange to him and that will prevent him to ever drift away from his father’s clan. The Cutlers’ main activity seems to be riding around stolen cars through the cities nearby and play with the policemen at the game of cat and mouse. Another big part of the movie is given to the other huge criminal activity that the clan usually does: jackasses by day and expert thieves by night, the gang is keen to play the robber’s life stealing goods and money from rich houses in the countryside. The movie seems to point out that the clan is actually made of a very skilled group of thieves, who goes stealing equipped with two cars – one to be burned down and the other to use for the escape – and other useful gadgets.

I won’t spend much time writing about the fact that the english spoken in the movie was hardly understandable and that a bunch of subtitles would have made it a way better movie. It might be for this reason that I started to appreciate it towards its last part as I grew accustomed to the difficult accent. Unfortunately, better-late-than-ever is not sufficient enough this time around for a clip long 99 minutes to provide us viewers with a not so compelling story that even struggles to have an actual traditional plot. There is an untold mythology that surrounds the whole movie; there are many hints and suggestions that make us understand how the movie is only a fraction of the Cutlers’ lives and that others element from before the movie starts are just impossible to know, but free to be imagined.

Trespass Against Us is a movie that tries so bad to make us falling in love with the bad guys, at the center of this weird narrative, by telling us that even outlaws have feelings, families and children to support. It’s truly a shame that such band of outcast didn’t get the treatment they deserved as the story is occasionally very powerful and charming, but eventually not enough for us to even feel a sentiment of care towards a bunch of characters that fail to even become compelling or interesting at all.

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Davide Cantelmo is a Screenjabber contributor.
Italian, 22. Journalism student. Tech and TV series savvy. Loves comic books, pirates novels and good movies.

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