I think we can all agree that Nicolas Cage has a certain gravitas, the man is almost an attraction in and of himself. One thing is sure from Cage’s resume, you’re never going to get a boring performance. I mean take this movie… low budget, released quietly on satellite this week. If there was another actor of former ’90s A-list famous actor, who is relegated to this type of stuff and he put in a sour ‘I hate my career’ performance, this probably would’ve slid back to a 6 or below. But Cage shows up to this otherwise mediocre movie and makes it watchable. Well, it’s a heist movie too, that helps.
The film is set in Las Vegas and follows two bent cops, Nicolas Cage and Elijah Woods. Both are unhappy for one reason or another and when Cage happens upon a trail of a huge loot stashed by criminals in a secret vault, he recruits Woods to help him plan a heist and loot it of the goods. The film to me is obviously like a poor man’s take on Breaking Bad, with Cage playing the morally flexible mentor and Woods playing the mildly troubled protégé. While Cage lacks the finesse of Brian Cranston he makes up for it with overpowering screen presence and ‘forward’ black humour screen winking, but Woods is no Aaron Paul.
People will Google a movie like this, find out it’s a Nicolas Cage movie that is on demand (with an upcoming limited release) and let their preconceptions do the work for them. For sure, ‘The Trust’ is no blockbuster and Nicolas Cage is barely a serious actor anymore, but it’s worth one watch. While the artwork suggests a brooding thriller, it’s actually a black comedy – right up Cage’s alley. And while the first 45 minutes is lethargic and sometimes incoherent, the fun starts when Cage starts trying to break his way into the vault. The heist itself is moderately intelligent and inventive and is also fuelled with classic Cage-isms.
I’ll tell you what though, there is a downside in Woods. The man looks like he just doesn’t want to be there and I’m not so sure it’s not part of his character. His performance is dull and wanting, with only Cage enjoying himself in the role stopping Woods’ depressing appearance from ruining things. You know what would have been better? If it was just Cage himself on a cat burglar gig, that would’ve been quite good…