Michael Fassbender is really quite good at playing slightly batshit—perfectly cast in the underrated-as-hell, utterly unforgettable 2015 version of Macbeth—and he adds another strong performance as a desperate guy with a little too much to lose in Trespass Against Us. Opposite Brendan Gleeson as his domineering, dangerously reckless father, Fassbender spouts off a Brad Pitt-in-Snatch-like accent and showcases every ounce of charisma he has as a getaway driver just barely on this side of crazy. The movie isn’t that great, but Fassbender is fantastic in it. It’s worth checking out on VOD for Fassbender’s wolfish grin alone.
Most of the time, the pranks are dumb—like painting a car yellow and driving around causing mayhem for regular citizens who aren’t constantly talking shit about the Queen of England, one of Colby’s favorite pastimes—but Colby has pulled enough dumb stuff over the years that the local police are itching to arrest him for something. And so they set their sights on Colby’s son, Chad (Fassbender), who isn’t that keen on carrying on the family’s legacy in this criminal way. Instead, he wants better for his wife Kelly (Lyndsey Marshal), his daughter Mini (Kacie Anderson), and his son Tyson (Georgie Smith), a boy about to be a teenager whose grandfather thinks he’s ready to be a man.
So much of the tension between Chad and Colby is because Fassbender and Gleeson are truly electrifying individually and together; their power struggles—especially when Chad tells Colby that he’s “trying to look after my family,” and Colby counters with “You’re forgetting who you are, boy”—always dance right on the edge of deterioration. You can understand how a man like Colby would be an idol to a child and a weight on an adult; it’s a credit to Gleeson that he can still seem charming even as he’s spouting serious crap about how evolution isn’t real and how the world is flat. He’s an aggressive bully whose “plain talk” reels in people who don’t know any better. Hmm, sound familiar?
It’s that flawed ending that casts a shadow over the rest of Trespass Against Us, which veers into Guy Ritchie territory but mostly keeps its integrity until the last half-hour or so. Nevertheless, there’s still enough memorable, engrossing stuff here—those electric performances (no one can make an insult like “You’re a dumb fuck, you are” sound as weirdly sexy as Fassbender can); a tense, visceral score from the Chemical Brothers; well-directed chase sequences—to make Trespass Against Us worth a watch, even if it flubs the finale.
Rating: 3 out of 5 Guttenbergs
Trespass Against Us is available on VOD.