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Review - The Trust

By midlandsmovies, May 27 2016 09:55AM

The Trust (2016) Dir. Alex Brewer & Ben Brewer

Nicolas Cage? What happened man? The actor has an Oscar and a trilogy of the best action films of the 90s (The Rock, Face/Off, Con Air – made back to back no less) but is now a straight to video star alongside such luminaries as Steven Seagal. That said, the odd gem shines through and The Trust is (close to being) one.

My love of the fun Disney National Treasure films has been mentioned before (see this article of best Nic Cage films) yet unfortunately some impressive indie fair like Joe and a supporting role in Kick Ass gave way to such “classics” like the The Dying of the Light (2014), The Runner (2015) and Pay the Ghost (2015) – most have barely heard let alone seen these stinkers.

With a rollercoaster of good-to-bad films, you never know what you’re going to get with Cage but The Trust however sits in the mostly good pile rather than the god-awful ones he’s currently known for.

This crime film sees Cage as Lieutenant Jim Stone (sounds like a first draft script name) whose moustachioed visage harkens back to Kick Ass’ Damon Macready (aka Big Daddy) and who works with Elijah Wood’s Sergeant David Waters in Las Vegas’ Police Evidence department. After spotting clues that a drug dealer was bailed on $200k cash, Cage goes undercover to find out how they made their loot. Roping in a reluctant Wood, the twosome get hold of blueprints and discover a large safe at a gang’s hideout and use money gained from a corrupt cop (played well by a creepy Ethan Suplee of My Name Is Earl) to buy equipment to break in.

The film has a slight CSI “television” vibe with nothing being particularly cinematic but it adds to the realism of a simple narrative. I’ve enjoyed Wood’s quirky film choices post-LOTR (Maniac, Sin City, Eternal Sunshine) and he plays a put-upon dupe quite well and repeats the same performance here. No bad thing. Cage is all over the place (pretty standard) but the dynamic between the two is solid, with the grizzled down-and-out Cage contrasting nicely with Wood’s more innocent stoner Sergeant.

After breaking in, their fractured relationship takes a turn for the worse as an unexpected woman becomes an unwanted hostage and the previous jovial tone of the movie switches to a more serious and bloody drama. This shift may be jarring for some but I was glad it didn’t turn into an Ocean’s 11. Taking a few bold risks in the film’s short (but appropriate) 93 minutes, the filmmakers have taken some regular genre tropes and mixed them up. Not always satisfyingly but a worthy attempt to avoid pigeon-holing.

In conclusion, the two leads are immensely watchable with good chemistry but this film of two halves (lightweight trendiness then deadly serious) may not be to everyone’s tastes. A crime caper that admirably gambles on a few eccentric creative choices, The Trust is a harmless drama that shows Cage-fans glimpses of his former skills, whilst others may find it bland and flavourless. Trust me, I’m hoping it’s the former for Nic’s sake.

6/10 Midlands Movies Mike

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