(US/UK - 2016)
Directed by Alex Brewer & Benjamin Brewer. Written by Adam Hirsch and Benjamin Brewer. Cast: Nicolas Cage, Elijah Wood, Sky Ferreira, Jerry Lewis, Ethan Suplee, Steven Willliams, Eric Heister, Alexandria Lee, Keston John. (R, 92 mins)
At this point in his career, Nicolas Cage has almost become synonymous with "VOD," spending the last several years cranking out a series of largely interchangeable and mostly forgettable action movies that played in as few theaters as contractually mandated. For every worthwhile film he makes, like JOE or THE FROZEN GROUND, there's three RAGE's or THE RUNNER's. And when he does manage to headline a nationwide release, it's LEFT BEHIND, easily the most embarrassing film of his career. Cage coasts through so many garbage movies that it's a major event for his fans when he makes a good one, and the quirky heist thriller THE TRUST, while no classic, qualifies as high-end Cage these days and definitely belongs in the JOE and FROZEN GROUND club. Directed by Alex & Benjamin Brewer and written by Benjamin Brewer and Adam Hirsch, THE TRUST provides the Oscar-winning actor with one of his trademark eccentric characters, essayed by a Cage who's sort-of mellowed with age but still shows flashes of bug-eyed hysteria when he's pushed to the edge. Cage is Jim Stone, a bored cop and supervisor of the Las Vegas P.D.'s evidence department. Stone happens upon a bail receipt for $200,000 cash and is curious about the potential criminal activities and "deep pockets" of someone who has $200,000 in cash so easily available. Buddying up with one of his staffers, disgruntled David Waters (Elijah Wood), Stone uses department funds to set up a phony undercover/surveillance operation, even posing as a clumsy waiter to tail the guy who got bailed out to see if it leads to the source of the big money. Eventually, they uncover the existence of a secret vault hidden in a freezer inside a carryout, where numerous drops are made but no money ever leaves. Convinced it's a cash drop for a Vegas drug operation, Stone aggressively cajoles Waters into robbing the vault, even convincing him to drop $10K of his own money on an industrial-sized drill so they can work into the vault from the supposedly vacant apartment above the carryout. And of course, like any heist movie, complications ensue.