The Trust (2016)

<strong class="MovieTitle">The Trust</strong> (2016)

(Video on Demand, May 2016) When Nicolas Cage started showing up in direct-to-video movies a few years ago, it felt odd but fun, as he was usually able to raise the level of a production just by showing up. But as he keeps working to (rumours say) pay off his tax debts, the charm of his regular appearances in non-theatrical movies is starting to wear thin. The Trust isn’t completely empty of fun, but it’s one more in an increasingly generic series of bland thriller that happens to feature an actor named Nicolas Cage without taking full advantage of his grandiose Caginess. Taking place in the low-budget areas of Las Vegas, The Trust features Cage as a forensic investigator who gets the urge to rob an illicit safe. Enlisting a younger partner (played by Elijah Wood, suitably nebbish), he sets up the heist … until everything goes wrong. While generally well executed, The Trust makes the mistake of going dark and gritty rather than cool and exhilarating like so many other heist movies. The ending couldn’t possibly be more downbeat, but it doesn’t come as a surprise after an increasingly grimmer series of events. Cage, as mentioned, delivers what’s expected of him but doesn’t do much more than that. Some of the film’s most intriguing plot threads are left unexplored, while it spends a considerable amount of time on far more familiar material. It’s easy to see why the result went straight to video—in an increasingly competitive theatrical environment, a Cage-neutered The Trust simply doesn’t have what it takes to warrant the trip out to the multiplex … but it may have just enough to justify picking it up at home for an evening’s entertainment.

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