The Trust review: Nicolas Cage returns to the screen opposite Elijah Wood in this dark comedy that debut feature directors Alex and Benjamin Brewer.

The Trust review by Awais Irfan, May 2016.

The Trust review
The Trust review

After a whole string of bad films, from Outcast to Left Behind to The Runner, the once-great Nicolas Cage really needed a good role in a good film to perhaps give him sort of redemption and show the world that not all hope is lost with his career. His latest project, the bad-cop crime film The Trust is just that; taking him back to his Leaving Las Vegas roots, this slick and competent thriller is Cage’s first good film since 2013’s remarkable Joe – a dark, twisted and fun thrill ride.

When police officer Jim Stone (Nicolas Cage) notices an unusually high bail receipt for a drugs bust, he begins to devise a plan to find the source of the money and enlists the help of his friend and colleague in the evidence room, at the Las Vegas Police Department, David Waters (Elijah Wood). Tired of their dull and boring lives and jobs – the latter numbed by a recent breakup with his girlfriend, who reluctantly agrees to help Stone – the pair set about planning to heist this vault, and clear it of its contents. Discovering it is located in the freezer of a grocery store, the heist begin to prove a lot more difficult than they initially hoped when things begin to go awry.

The Trust review
The Trust review

Alex and Benjamin Brewer, who wrote this film as well as directed it, making both their screenplay and directorial debut, have crafted a slick and fun little corrupt-cop thriller that is gorgeously shot, well-directed and a very solid debut indeed. The film takes a while in finding traction and the first half hour or so is a tad too tedious and conventional in its approach of setting things up to be all that memorable but, once it does, the game is quickly afoot and the fun begins. The film is remarkably dark, brimming with jet-black humour, and really witty dialogue that, for the most part, works – progressively, and incredibly effectively, getting darker and darker as the film continues.

This is reflected through the character of Stone too, who begins as a really wacky and oddball police officer – with the tendency to do unusual things like eat a lemon covered in hot sauce, despite hating the taste of it for no apparent reason, or crack dark jokes in tense situations – that gets darker and darker as the film progresses, to the point where he becomes scarily psychotic even. And if there’s one actor that can deliver this sort of insane, unpredictable character, it’s Cage and the actor gives a wonderful performance here – making you laugh out loud in one scene, and feel intimidated by his presence the next. Not to be understated, Elijah Wood matches him blow for blow as Waters – the more reasonable and genuine character here, grounding the proceedings and adding levity to the film as a whole. There is veritable chemistry between the pair too that is believable and the dynamic between Wood and Cage is a delight to watch.

The Trust isn’t for everyone but, if black humour and slick and fun heist films are your thing, then this is for you. There’s a lot of flaws with the film but it is a competent and enjoyable film for what it is, nonetheless – if not all that memorable or resonating after the credits roll. Nicolas Cage is back and better than ever though, giving a great and thoroughly enjoyable performance and that’s all that matters.

The Trust review by Awais Irfan, May 2016.

The Trust is released in UK cinemas on 27th May, 2016.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Overall