Review: ‘The Intruder’ Starring Meagan Good, Michael Ealy, Dennis Quaid
The Intruder is the kind of movie that I went into with little to no expectations, yet it still delivers even less. It’s this year’s Breaking In (review), in which we get a cookie-cutter home-invasion movie that serves us nothing more than cheap tricks.
The plot is simple. Scott (Michael Ealy) is a young and successful businessman and wants to give his wife Annie (Meagan Good) her dream home in Napa Valley. However, suspicion and tensions begin to rise when the home seller, Charlie (Dennis Quaid) just can’t seem to let go of the house (despite selling it so eagerly and hastily) and keeps continually showing up, which ultimately leads to an incredibly predictable and unexciting showdown in the film’s final act.
If it weren’t for the audience, I wouldn’t have had a single lick of fun with this movie. The screenplay is entirely formulaic and provides the laziest expositional dialogue that I’ve witnessed in quite some time. If you have questions at any point in the movie, don’t sweat it. The answers will be given to you via a slap in the face.
In addition, the development and choices made for our characters don’t often make sense. Throwaway lines like “I bet Domino’s won’t even deliver here” are used to I guess foreshadow that our characters won’t even think about calling the police at a later time. Ealy and Good are both okay in their roles but virtually every decision made by their characters was laughable.
Director Deon Taylor lays it out for the viewer almost immediately that something is off with Charlie as we see him prowling around the residence at weird times. Combine that with Quaid’s somewhat ridiculous performance, it’s pretty clear he’s a psychopath, but only Scott sees it but still refrains from doing what it takes to protect his wife and seeing him gone. Annie is said to just be too nice, but at what point do you start to suspect? Certainly a lot sooner than she actually does.
The direction and editing also appeared to be inorganic and sometimes jarring when transitioning from one scene to the next. Often times, a scene would play out in whatever which way and then would just cut to where we as an audience need to be next. There just didn’t ever seem to be any fluidity from scene to scene and it clearly showed.
As said above, if it weren’t for the audience last night, I’d have been bored to tears. It almost felt like an opening night to a Marvel film, as much as people were hooting and hollering at different moments, but more so out of confusion and fear. “Don’t go in there!” “Hit him again!” “Call the police!” – all logical things our characters decided against doing, but the audience ate it up. Maybe sometimes we just have to turn our minds off and watch dumb characters make dumb decisions for dumb entertainment. That’s not for me though.