Tze Chun’s short “Windowbreaker” focuses on a suburban Massachusetts neighborhood where a string of break-in robberies has created a sense of jitters among the concerned residents. A single Vietnamese immigrant mother with two young children reluctantly agrees to pay a local hardware store to install a security system. But the youngsters devise their own “Home Alone”-worthy system that proves quite effective when a would-be robber comes calling at their residence.
The film is well made but rather pointless – one gets the feeling Chun wanted to make a feature but could only create a short, thus the personalities and plots of the film feel acutely compressed. The 11-minute running time never allows for the central family characters to develop personalities, and subplots regarding a rocky romance between an associate in the hardware store and the boss’ daughter and police harassment of Asian teenagers never get explored with any degree of depth. The twist ending is also a bit foolish, offering a weak “aha” moment that badly caps the story.
The film may not be very bad, but it’s not very special.