The Trust is the latest Nicolas Cage film in which he co-stars with Elijah Wood as a couple of corrupt Las Vegas cops planning to rob a mysterious vault. Not knowing the contents of the safe (they have an idea, but that is all) or who owns it, they still set out to take it down in Alex and Benjamin Brewer’s second feature length film. Wood is Office Waters, a boozing, drug abusing forensics expert who suffers from burnout. “I am only doing this because I have absolutely nothing else to do and I despise my job,” he tells Officer Stone (Cage) when he agrees to tail a suspect who was bailed out with a cashiers check for 200,000 dollars. Stone figures that somebody has some deep pockets and, together the two officers stumble upon a safe that is hidden in the basement of a building in a seedier side of Las Vegas.
I guess as Cage films go, The Trust is not too bad. Yes, he plays another eccentric weirdo but this time keeps the over-the-top nonsense that, frankly, has grown a bit tiresome, to a minimum. His character is a likable chap, to a point but when he turns dark towards the middle part of the film, he kind of loses his edge. I was particularly impressed with Elijah Wood, free from his Hobbit duties, whose character is corrupt and decadent, but still manages to have some humanity left. He knows right from wrong and still TRIES to make things right. He also realizes that the people that own this safe and its contents are not going to just let this go. Stone, on the other hand, does not see the danger and seems oblivious to what is coming.
There is a lot of planning for the actual heist, in which they have to steal money to buy the drill which comes from Germany and will be going into the safe by drilling from the apartment directly above. An apartment which they find two people in when they start their heist. One is played by singer and actress Sky Ferreira who is simply known as “the women”. It was nice to see that Jerry Lewis (yes, that Jerry Lewis) is still active at 90 and looks fairly good for that age. Playing Cage’s dad who seems to also be a former cop, although it is never dwelled on and to be fair, Lewis is not given much to do, as he only has a couple of scenes. I know he is not completely healthy in reality, so he probably was not able to do much, but he does the best he can with the very limited screen time he has been given. Sky Ferreira’s “the woman” does a nice job with her limited screen time but is never fully developed as a character, which is too bad because by the film’s end she is rather important. Having said that, this is really Cage and Wood’s picture and they both do well.
The Trust loses some of its footing towards the final act of the picture and when Cage does a couple of things that seemed out of character for his character, he loses my sympathy. The script, written by Benjamin Brewer and Adam Hirsch, is a morosely funny script that keeps the story simple, even if it loses steam towards the end. It is when The Trust starts to take itself too seriously that the film falls short and the final shot is a real downer. Still, Cage and Wood are a joy to watch on screen and they have some great chemistry as partners. This is the heart of the film and they make the routine material work to a point. I just wish the script had been tighter and a little less uneven. The Trust is a mixed bag for me. Sadly, I don’t think I can recommend it, because there are other Nicolas Cage films out there that are worth watching more than this one. Elijah Wood has other films, beside the Hobbit franchise, that are better than this one. But you could do far worse than The Trust.
The Trust- ** 3/4 out of 5
The Trust- Rated R for language, nudity and violence
The Trust- Run Time is 95 minutes and is currently playing in select cities and On Demand.