Starring Elijah Wood, Nicholas Cage
There is a very good reason The Trust is debuting in limited release and VOD at the same time. When the film was introduced at SXSW, the announcer jokingly said it was “Very Cagey”, but for those who have charted the steady decline of the once admired Oscar winning actor, you know what it means. The film opens with an Elijah Wood (The Lord of the Rings) sex scene, something I don’t think we have seen from the 30-something actor who still after all these years looks childlike. However, it’s Wood who at least offers the film some grit and conscious. First time directors Alex & Benjamin Brewer show the audience a new side of Las Vegas, no gambling, no fancy shots of the strip, just two more dirty cops trying to heist their way into a new life.
Working in the Las Vegas Police Department’s evidence collection and management section. David Waters (Wood) and Jim Stone (Cage) are unlikely partners in crime, yet when they discover a possible fortune buried underneath an apartment, in the not so nice side of town, they are willing to risk careers and even their lives to access the contents, whatever they might be.. Stone is the goofball planner, while Waters is the smart and crafty serious one. The two cops spend as much time arguing over their plan and the unforeseeable problems, like people
It’s the kind of movie you desperately watch on a long flight, because you have seen everything else.
The single most important draw for The Trust is how it ends. It’s the kind of movie you desperately watch on a long flight, because you have seen everything else. Neither actor deliver a performance that would stand out on their filmography. The script never allows Wood and Cage to become Jim and David, we are always fully aware of the actors’ persona. Of course it doesn’t help that neither character is particularly interesting, few scenes dive into the characters personal lives or even worth ethic. The entire film, despite being a heist, is like a dark comedy routine with Cage delivering the jokes that Wood stoically reacts to.
Early in the film, details of how the two cops turned criminals gain knowledge and access to the safe is so muddled and convoluted, you quickly become aware of the scripts focus. This genre film doesn’t seem to notice it’s reinforcing some obvious stereotypes. Scenes that play like plot shifts or surprise twists are anything but. Wood pulls off many of the busy button-ups Cage wore in Leaving Las Vegas; one more devastating reminder of Cage’s former career. The Trust slowly moves towards a pretty inevitable conclusion that’s all the more disappointing when it arrives.
Cage & Wood star in a dopy heist thriller that’s all heist and no thrills.