The Trust is similar to the recent John Travolta flick The Forger, in that it’s a movie with obvious budget limitations that are overcome by talented performers. Here those performers happen to be Nicolas Cage and Elijah Wood, two actors I never imagined would work together, but whose collective energy proves surprisingly interesting and engaging.
They play a couple of underpaid, disillusioned Las Vegas cops who endure the drudgery of working in their department’s evidence lockup. That is, until Cage discovers a drug dealer who appears to have access to a lot of cash, attained by moving merchandise that Wood discovers is located in a vault in the back of an industrial freezer in a hotel, which they decide to rob.
In an interview on the DVD, Cage says he’s been choosing to work with younger filmmakers in the hopes they’ll “reinvent” him. I don’t know that writer/director brothers Alex and Ben Brewer quite succeed in that regard here, but they certainly allow Cage yet another opportunity to create a wonderfully off-kilter character, eccentrically funny one minute, menacing the next.
Wood was the bigger challenge for me going in, as morally and ethically corrupt types aren’t exactly in his wheelhouse. Even in his mid-30s, he still radiates a certain innocence. Nonetheless, decked out in sunglasses and a bit of scruff, he manages to convey a convincing I-don’t-care attitude, and more than holds his own in his scenes with Cage, playing cynical straight man to Cage’s idiosyncrasies.
Narratively, the Brewers craft a compelling mystery–will Cage and Wood succeed? What’s in the vault? Whose vault is it?–and do a fine job moving the men in morally opposite directions. As directors, they accomplish quite a bit stylistically, especially with the lighting. And I wonder if they were excited, or indifferent, working with 90-year-old Jerry Lewis, who appears briefly as Cage’s father. – [DVD]
DVD Release Date: 8/2/16