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  Trust, The The Perfect Heist
Year: 2016
Director: Alex Brewer, Benjamin Brewer
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Elijah Wood, Sky Ferreira, Jerry Lewis, Eric Heister, Alexandria Lee, Ethan Suplee, Kenna James, Steven Williams, Carl Windom Carlito, Lisa Mack, Marc D. Donovan, Kevin Weisman, Erica Vanlee, Tommie Vegas, Christie Beran
Genre: ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Las Vegas is the city, and among its cops are Stone (Nicolas Cage) and Waters (Elijah Wood), the latter who is starting the day by having sex with a prostitute, though as she straddles him he cannot think of anything much except the mole under her left breast. But there has been a murder last night and Waters is called to check out the crime scene, probably gangland business, where he finds Stone waiting for him, though he hits a dead end when he wants to take the investigation further with his boss, no matter that one of the possible drug dealing culprits was hiding in the cupboard. What Stone finds interesting is that he was able to pay a huge amount of bail money on the apparent salary of a hotel worker - so what’s really going on here?

You could comment on The Trust that it's rarely a good sign when the list of producers in the opening credits of a movie outnumber the actors listed by about four or five to one, and they had two directors to boot, but if it seemed overstaffed behind the scenes then it didn't look it in front of the cameras. Actually, as it played there were only two characters who won a lion's share of the screen time, and they were Cage and Wood at an interesting stage in their careers when they were appearing in a lot of low budget material, seemingly to pay off his tax bill in Cage's case, though Wood may not have needed the income as much, assuming his blockbusters had paid sufficiently well to leave him fairly comfortable.

Anyway, it's bad manners to talk salaries, but you may nevertheless be seeking an explanation for this team up which by 2016 sounded unexpectedly obvious in light of the stars' recent choices. If you envisaged them as a comedy duo, then you'd have a better idea of what the dynamic between them was, with Cage the goofball and Wood the straight man, which in itself may have cheered Cage's fans knowing they were in for a treat on watching him ham it up here. He wasn't quite as out of control as some of his performances could be, but there was enough of him getting that crazed look in his eye and behaving with wild abandon that you would like to think was his own ideas he conjured up on the set to make this very worthwhile for those who like to laugh along with his antics.

With that in mind, it made perfect sense that Jerry Lewis himself should be Cage's father, just another quirk along the way though his followers may be disappointed he had less than a minute of screen time, in spite of being one of the four actors credited at the beginning. It was nice to see him, but the feeling of a missed opportunity was there in that respect, especially as he didn't get any funny lines and was seemingly there for his iconic status and the sheer hell of it. As for the plot, it was murky to say the least, so much so that there were points that on examination didn't quite add up, as if we had not been graced with enough of the information necessary to piece it together; one thing we could be certain of however was that this was an old fashioned Las Vegas heist movie at its heart.

Though the directors the Brewer Brothers decided against relying on that well-worn trope of offering a montage of neon signs to make sure we knew the location of the story, in itself a bold move in a film that preferred to have Cage phone up Germans for a vital nugget of information or randomly shoot people so we were under no illusions that Stone was absolutely insane. When he and Waters discover a vault hidden away that is owned by some very wealthy "businessmen", Stone talks the virtuous to a degree Waters into assisting him in breaking into it and helping themselves to the riches inside. Here is where Sky Ferreira showed up to be victimised, she didn't even get a character name, she was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, though naturally in a film such as this she is not as helpless as she appears. If Cage's eccentricities raised a few giggles, for too much of the time obscurity was the style the Brewers relied upon, and while a little more clarity might have exposed the clichés, it might also have made for a more satisfying experience. Watch it for Cage somewhere near his Cagiest, and you will likely appreciate it. Music by Reza Safinia.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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