After crying like a baby during Newtown (review here), I quickly switched gears and went back to the Paramount for the world premiere of The Trust, a quirky dark comedy from first time directors Benjamin and Alex Brewer. The film stars Nicolas Cage and Elijah Wood as two cops who decide to rob a vault in Las Vegas. I had been looking forward to this one due to the buzz surrounding it coming in, and the last good Nicolas Cage performance was in Joe, which I saw at SXSW 2014. It’s also great to see Austin’s own Wood in the film too, as he’s emerged as one of independent cinema’s finest forces of acting for most of his career. Here’s my review of The Trust.
Cage plays a veteran police officer whose investigating a drug smuggling case in Las Vegas with Wood, who plays an evidence forensic cop. Cage discovers that the drug ring has something to do with a giant vault on the southside of Vegas, and Cage introduces Wood to the idea of infiltrating the place. Wood is reluctant and first but eventually agrees to the heist. Twist and turns ensue as the heist begins.
The Trust, for the first two acts of the film, is brilliant. Cage is in fine form as a quirky and mentally unhinged cop, and Wood does some of his best work as the straight man of the two. Every line and physical movement that Cage does or performs in this film is hilarious, and I was almost rolling on the floor laughing at a few key moments in the film. It’s unfortunate that Cage doesn’t do films like The Trust all the time, because its roles like this that solidifies him as an Oscar-winning actor, and not just a weird show-biz kid who makes crappy movies every year.
In was essentially a glorified cameo is legendary comedic actor Jerry Lewis as Cage’s elderly father in the film. Seeing Lewis on-screen was just extraordinary, but he was only in the film for a scene or two. Granted, Lewis is older and probably didn’t want to be in the film for too long, but it would’ve been nice to see more of the legend. I also didn’t love the dark turn that the film takes toward the end of the film. It was always a really dark comedy from the very beginning, but the comedy aspect begins to slowly disappear toward the end, which is unfortunate because the first two acts were so damn funny. It would’ve been nice to still hard a dark sense of humor toward the end, but it gets abandoned (for reasons I won’t spoil obviously).
But The Trust is a very well done and solid first film by the Brewer brothers. It’s a bit uneven, which is typical of first-features, but it’s still a terrific effort nonetheless. I look forward to seeing more from this talent duo, as they could potentially break out after the festival is all said and done. The Trust is being released in limited release in May, and try to look out for it when it does come out.