We take a look at Cage’s new heist caper…
When smart cop Nicolas Cage stumbles upon what looks like a safe potentially containing millions of dollars, he enlists slacker cop Elijah Wood in order to pull off the heist entirely under the noses of the Las Vegas Police Department. It looks it could be the perfect plan, which of course means that it isn’t.
The picture, by brothers Alex and Benjamin Brewer, has a poster suggesting it’s a police thriller, but it isn’t. It’s a caper through and through, supported by a thoroughly traditional performance from Nicolas Cage; what that means is that he’s dedicatedly wacky in the manner that, with very few exceptions (Leaving Las Vegas, Adaptation., Lord of War), we’ve come to expect from him. Here he’s given free rein to bounce off of material that is breezy, freewheeling, and a little absurd. He spends one otherwise mostly serious scene zincing his sniffer because, well, why not? It’d just be another boring expositional scene without the distraction. Elijah Wood, a likeable and interesting little actor who has, since The Lord of the Rings, mostly taken likeable and interesting little rôles in likeable, interesting little films like Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Green Street, and Everything is Illuminated, is here likeable and interesting as Cage’s young, mostly directionless protégé.
The thing is that, as much as we might root for him in the beginning, as the picture plays out we begin to see how truly ruthless Cage’s character is, and switch our allegiances to his young, pretty accomplice who, criminal activities notwithstanding, provides the moral centre to the picture. In short it’s Breaking Bad, an influence we see not only in the storytelling but also in the cinematography, editing, musical choices, and even the Southwestern setting; but if you’re going to steal, you might as well make the theft worthwhile, and the world, while familiar, isn’t an unpleasant place to spend two hours. Or rather, it isn’t an unpleasant place to spend ninety minutes; as we reach the inevitably dark conclusion to the story, we begin to get the increasing sense that our two directors don’t quite have the confidence to deliver on their early promise. But that’s hardly an uncommon complaint with storytelling. Any film that actually manages a satisfactory ending has accomplished a rare thing, and is already halfway to greatness. So it would seem churlish to chide The Trust overly for not managing it, because it is a bit of harmless heist fun if you allow it to be.
The Trust is released today (18th July) on DVD and Blu-Ray, will you be checking it out? Let us know in the comment box below!