HTS Moderator , Reviewer
Title: The Trust
HTS Overall Score:68
“The Trust” is the directorial debut of Benjamin and Alex Brewer, brothers who haven’t had any writing or producing history to back up their first time effort, and the results are telling. “The Trust” is a clichéd heist movie with all of the regular trappings, wrapped up in a veneer of dark comedy (and of course trademark Nicholas Cage acting like a crazy man in just about every scene). There are moments of interest, especially in regards to the twist ending, but overall the movie feels stale and well worn, not to mention the oddball dark comedy that makes the entire picture feel a bit awkward and strained for the viewer. The formula is tired and drawn out, and sadly even Nicholas Cage and Elijah Wood stop faking enthusiasm and just coast through the rest of the movie after the opening act.
Stone (Nicholas Cage) and Waters (Elijah Wood) are two nobody cops without any semblance of a future in front of them. Stone is a 40 something year old veteran who has no future and no chance of promotion as his superiors use him as an errand boy. Waters enjoys a bit too much marijuana and the company of hookers while he grinds away at his forensics position. Both men are sick and tired of being nobodies in a long line of somebodies, with no chance of ever escaping the cycle. That is until Stone notices something in some paperwork. A heroin dealer who manages to make an obscene amount of bail on a budget that certainly couldn’t have paid for it. Tracing the paper trail and sniffing out the money, Stone figures out that this dealer is in the employ of someone with MUCH bigger pocketbooks. His trail leads back to a little storefront that seems to have people making deliveries, but never coming out with anything.
Realizing he’s hit the score of a lifetime, Stone employs the help of Waters to break into the dingy little storefront and jack whatever riches are hidden inside. Realizing that they can’t go in with brute force, the men get a drill and decided to come in through the apartment above. This sounds easy enough, but things often go awry, and the plans of mice and men are never exactly fool proof. Going in through the upper apartment nets them a dead body and a young woman who has seen their faces. Not to mention the fact that their little heist turns out to be a MASSIVE heist. A safe room full of more jewels and money than anyone of the two men though possible. Tensions are strained, trust is broken and soon it’s a bloodbath as the two men confront each other over what course of action to take.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=75969[/img]It’s a strange film at best, but “The Trust” manages to employ a lighter tone for the first act of the film. We see Waters and Stone living out their mundane life, with Stone getting called away from important crime scenes to go run errands for his captain, while Waters giggles uncontrollably at another cop while a drug dealer runs away in a drug induced state. Black humor is employed through the use of a fairly upbeat and light hearted score, but once the heist begins the movie turns much darker very quickly. Once the drilling is underway the movie is under full steam and there’s no turning back morally. Stone has already murdered several people in cold blood, and he seems to be ready to kill their hostage too, something that seems almost out of character from the goofy cop that he was during the first half of the film.
Most heist films tend to be more energetic and refined once the planning stage is out of the way and the real work begins, but “The Heist” actually LOSES steam after the first act. It’s a bit lighter and more energetic during the obligatory character development, but once the planning starts everything (including the actors) just coast along until the very end. The planning is by the books, without any hitches whatsoever, and even the drilling goes through as plan except for a single moment where they break a belt for the drill. Nicholas Cage is at his looney best, making himself act like an escapee from a mental hospital (something that is almost second nature to the man), but sadly he seems to be just phoning in the crazy as the look of boredom in his eyes is simply unmistakable. Even Elijah Wood looks like he’d rather be painting his nails or fixing his car’s radiator than be on set, and the rest of the limited cast seems to pick up on that boredom. Even the cameo by Jerry Lewis as Stone’s father can’t garner any real attention.
Rated R for violence, language, some sexuality/nudity and drug use
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=75977[/img]“The Trust” comes to Blu-ray with a nice digital looking 1.85:1 encode that really doesn’t stand out amongst a seas of DTV digital movies, but also manages to look very crisp and pleasing at the same time. The color tone leans toward a natural looking image, although slightly desaturated and given a blue/grey tinge here and there. Fine detail is excellent for the most part, with strong facial detail and showcasing plenty of details on the clothing and building structures. Black levels are a bit wonky and show a little bit of banding and washing out of some of the darker scenes, but overall the image is very clean and clear.
[img]http://www.hometheatershack.com/gallery/file.php?n=75985[/img]The 5.1 DTS-HD MA track is about on par with the video score, with a lightly airy and upbeat score that gives the film a quirky feeling, and some nicely spoken dialog that is never under any doubt for clarity. The balance is quite nice and the surrounds get some solid activity with the drill and the score, but the film is always a bit front heavy, with a majority of the work in the front three speakers. The front soundstage has some good directionality to it with the drill and the various locations, and the LFE track actually adds some nice low end to the gunshots and other mechanical aspects of the film. Much like everything else in the movie, everything is technically fine, but rather bland and uninspired at the end fo the day.
• "The Dynamics of a Duo: Nicolas Cage and Elijah Wood" Featurette
• "The Visuals of Vegas" Featurette
• Audio Commentary with Directors Alex and Benjamin Brewer
“The Trust” is really just rather pedantic and boring, as sibling directors Alex and Benjamin go through every heist cliché with the delicacy of a bull. Actors are bored, the viewers are bored, and very little in the film is worth watching besides Nicholas Cage overact like he is known to do. Sadly that isn’t enough to capture the attention or make the experience worthwhile, so I would recommend skipping the film entirely unless you just have to watch Frodo and Nick Cage mumble at each over for an hour and a half.
Starring: Nicholas Cage, Elijah Wood, Sky Ferreira
Directed by: Alex Brewer, Benjamin Brewer
Written by: Benjamin Brewer, Adam Hirsch
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 AVC
Audio: English: DTS-HD MA 5.1
Runtime: 92 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: August 2nd 2016
Buy The Trust On Blu-ray at Amazon
Recommendation: Skip It
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