Archive for June, 2016

The camera sees what it sees!

Year Released : 2015camino-poster
Director : Josh Waller
Cast : Zoe Bell, Nacho Vigalondo, Francisco Barriero and Tenoch Huerta

I mentioned in my recent review for “Approaching the Unknown” that my preferred type of films are ones that offer completely original ideas, in other words something that whilst it may borrow elements from other films, the story is largely completely original, and so I decided to take a film that has been on my “Films I Want to Watch” list for a while now and review it.

“Camino” looks like nothing that I have seen before, and I can’t say that I’m overly familiar with anyone involved in the movie, even though Zoe Bell was in the Quentin Tarantino flick “The Hateful Eight”, and therefore I go into this with a relatively open mind.

I think that is something that plagues a lot of smaller films that star people that you’ve heard of before, especially if you’ve seen a lot of their films, you just have expectations. My only exposure to anyone in the cast before has come in a minor part in a very, very long film, so my canvas of expectation is fairly blank for a change.

Plot

Famed war-photographer Avery (Bell) has gained success throughout her career due to taking pictures of the true nature of war. She doesn’t have an agenda and doesn’t take sides, therefore allowing her to get the best pictures and ones that represent war as it truly is. In 1985 she is asked to document a man called Guillermo (Vigalondo), a supposed warlord in Columbia.

At first she finds no issues with Guillermo and finds him and his group to be very likeable, but in the dusk of a morning she goes for a walk and notices him with huge piles of drugs and killing a child. Guillermo is only alerted to her presence when her camera starts rewinding the film. She runs off fearing the worst, and Guillermo convinces the rest of his group (that weren’t present) that Avery had killed the child.

How long can Avery survive, especially when the dangerous Alejo (Huerto) finds her?

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Original?

I will definitely give it to those behind “Camino” in saying that it’s definitely original. I can’t think of another film that is like this, so for that I give the filmmakers kudos, however, just because it’s relatively original it doesn’t mean that it’s that interesting.

Whilst the concept for “Camino” certainly grabbed my attention, I certainly couldn’t say the same about the execution as I regularly found myself able to drift in and out of the story, checking my phone, grabbing a drink, etc, all without even pausing the film. That’s never a good sign and the reason I was able to do that is because minutes pass by without anything happening, and then minutes turn into tens of minutes and for lack of better words, I just became very disinterested as the film went along.

That being said, when something does happen it is often brutal, engaging and interesting. For example, when Alejo and Avery have their fight, it’s unforgiving, bone crunching and brutal. The sound effects add to what is an already intense scene. There are maybe four or five moments throughout the run time that are actually worth watching, but the problem is that it feels like one big lost opportunity as whilst those scenes are brilliantly done, there parts in between just don’t really excite on any level.

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The reason that I saw it as a missed opportunity is that they have caught onto a very interesting psychological aspect and that is that everyone has two different personalities, the one the you wants others to see, and the one that you are when no-one is watching, and the scene in which Avery discovers what Guillermo is really like is very symbolic of that. It’s the first film that I can think of that uses that psychological process, but by doing so it means that the plot makes very little sense.

Guillermo’s troubles start when Avery catches him killing a child, but why would he do that when he knows that she is around and has already said that she would take pictures of anything and everything, and wouldn’t try and hide what was happening? It’s a bit strange that he gets so angry that he is caught doing it, even though he must have realised that it was a possibility.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all bad at all, the soundtrack for the film is fantastic and the acting is competent from everyone concerned. I just wish that they had come up with something that actually keeps you interested, or at least not tempted to look away from the screen on a regular basis.

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Summary

“Camino” is a bit of a missed opportunity from a psychological perspective. It’s not an awful film by any stretch but it definitely doesn’t reach a level where you want to keep watching.

The acting is fine and the soundtrack is great, but there is just something about the film that made me not really feel that engaged.

It could have been worse, but it definitely could have been better.

What’s it like when you look back at Earth from further out than anyone has ever been?

Year Released : 2016ApproachingTheUnknown
Director : Mark Elijah Rosenberg
Cast : Mark Strong, Luke Wilson and Sanaa Lathan

There are a few things that are rare in the movie industry, some of those that you’d expect, such as people pretending that it’s impossible to have a poor Marvel film, or that Force Awakens didn’t have a lot of issues, but one of the ones that people don’t really talk about is that Mark Strong rarely plays a protagonist.

Strong plays antagonists expertly in a variety of different films, and the best part about it is that he roles are often a variety of genres and with very different types of characters. This ranges from Pinbacker, an astronaut who found religion after his spaceship was cast adrift in “Sunshine”, or the ambitious Septimus in “Stardust”, mob-moss Frank in “Kick Ass” or the treacherous Sir Godfrey in “Robin Hood”. His adaptability has made him a very likeable actor.

It will be interesting to see him play a protagonist for a change. I’ve just looked through his filmography and I can’t recall many/any of his roles that I have seen in which he hasn’t been the bad guy.

Plot

William Stanaforth (Strong) has successfully managed to invent a process that produces water out of nothing more than dirt, because of this he is authorised to go to Mars and start the first colony. The first few weeks of the mission go without any issues, other than Stanaforth making it clear that he no longer has an interest in talking to anyone other than Skinner (Wilson), his friend and colleague at mission control, and Maddox (Lathan), who is following him three weeks later and will be the second person on Mars.

Stanaforth soon learns that Maddox has drifted off course, but he helps her get back heading towards Mars. However, he soon encounters his own issue as he accidentally short circuits the equipment that transforms dirt into water, and he struggles to get it back working. Any time that he thinks he has fixed it, he makes the situation work. He survives on condensation from the heat from the air con system.

As he approaches Mars, can he give himself and humanity a chance by getting the machine fixed in time?

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As good as it should be?

Honestly? No, not really. I had high hopes going into the film after being impressed by the trailer and the mostly one man show from Mark Strong that was promised, but instead I got a film that started off very promisingly, only to then just never get going. The film can really be divided into two halves, but the problem is whereas most films have a much stronger second half than the first, “Approaching the Unknown” has the complete opposite approach.

During the first half of the film I was engaged with what was happening and was excited about it. Early on it has very similar stylings to “Sunshine”, another film set in space that features Mark Strong, but the problem is that the film never seems to move out of second gear, and the second half of the film feels like a car that is rapidly running out of petrol and you’re trying to make it to your destination on fumes. The film never really seems like it’s going to reach a natural conclusion, or at least a conclusion that will leave the audience convinced that they’d just watched a film that they enjoyed.

This is in no fault down to the cast and as expected, Strong delivers a great performance in a film where he is largely on his own. You truly believe in the character and how driven he is to complete his mission one way or another, but later on in the film the character falls into the picture of loneliness and insanity that you predict from watching the trailer and the general storyline.

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That is the biggest disappointment for me, there’s nothing truly unique or groundbreaking about the film. I was sat there for it’s 90 minute run time (one of the things that the film did get right) and didn’t see anything that I hadn’t already seen in other films of a similar nature. The best films, in my opinion, are the ones that offer you something that you haven’t seen before during your life, or at least offer enough that’s original enough that you can ignore borrowed parts, but “Approaching the Unknown” doesn’t do that, and other than some decent visuals, it is a largely forgettable film.

In many ways that is the worst type of film that you can have, something that isn’t really worth remembering. Despite enjoying the first half of the film, I couldn’t really tell you that much that happens other than him having a few talks with children and him spewing out a lot of monologues.

I don’t really have that much more to say about “Approaching the Unknown”, I’ve really struggled to get this many words out.

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Summary

“Approaching the Unknown” starts off promisingly, but it starts getting less and less engaging as it goes on, and by the end of the film I had lost most of my interest in the film.

Mark Strong gives a very decent performance, but he is one of the few positives about a film that is otherwise largely forgettable. I wrote this review two days after watching the film and that’s because I felt very little urge to write the review.

There are worse ways to spend 90 minutes, but there are a many better ways as well.

So recently another trailer for the upcoming “Ghostbusters” reboot was released and yet again, in my opinion, it failed to look anything more than a poor attempt to bringing new life to the 30+ year old franchise. Reaction to the trailer was poor from the majority, but this was in turn met by a reaction that has plagued the whole marketing for the film, that anyone who doesn’t like the look of the film is just upset that features women in the lead role of an iconic franchise.

Those comments are ironic in many ways, mainly because they’re wrongly assuming that people don’t want to watch the film and will bad mouth it because it stars women, but making that comment is itself sexist.

The original trailer for the new film was released several months ago now and it has already gained the less than favourable distinction of being the most disliked movie trailer ever on Youtube. There are several reasons for this, but not once during the comments did I read someone stating that the film would be poor because it has female leads, instead a lack of genuinely funny moments, racist stereotypes and an exceptionally slow tone made one of the least impressive trailers that you’ll ever see for a Hollywood blockbuster.

You could almost tell that the studio knew that they had messed up with the first trailer as a new one was released within a few days of the first that showed Chris Hemsworth’s character, but seemed to overplay him being in the film, almost like a “shit, they didn’t like that trailer, let’s try and get the comic book nerds on side” type of way of doing it. Now I really like Chris Hemsworth as an actor, I can’t recall watching a film that he was in that I didn’t like him in, and if I’m going to go and watch it then it will be to enjoy another one of his performances again.

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Releasing a new trailer didn’t change opinions though and the majority still disliked the trailers, and that’s the point at which some said that people just didn’t like it because it starred four women, and that people didn’t like the film for sexist reasons. What complete and utter nonsense.

Now before someone gets on their high horse and starts accusing me of only not liking the look of the film because it stars four women, take into account that it’s practically impossible for me to be sexist against women because I am a male-to-female transsexual. If I was sexist against women then I certainly wouldn’t be spending a lot of money to become one for the rest of my life.

When they initially announced last year that the new cast would feature “funny women”, I did genuinely struggle to think of actresses that I find funny, and when the cast came out I was unimpressed. Now, I’ve never seen anything with Kate McKinnon or Leslie Jones in it, infact I’d never even heard of either of them before then, so obviously I can’t comment on their level of comedic talent (although judging by the trailers, the latter certainly doesn’t contain any), so instead I’m going to concentrate on Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig.

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Several months ago I did review a film starring Wiig, to be more precise “Welcome to Me”, and it was pretty poor, and before I wrote this I looked at Wiig’s filmography, and other than “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” I couldn’t think of anything that I have seen her in that I enjoyed her performance specifically, and possibly the reason was that in that film she played a very serious character, but in the others she has attempted to be somewhat amusing.

Then we get onto Melissa McCarthy, who is about as funny as falling eye first onto a pin. She is like the female version of James Corden in which most of her “humour” seems to come from her weight. For example, in the trailer for “Tammy” (which is diabolical might I add) she is seen struggling to get over a counter, and it’s just not funny, and nor is anything else that she has been in.

Neither of these women strike me as fitting the category of “funny women” and that’s why I was initially skeptical.

 

If you’re going to claim that you’re going to hire “funny women” then hire women that are actually funny. There are plenty of funny women in Hollywood and I can give you four right now that have proven comedic chops, chemistry built from several years of already working together and are all actually likable, I present the female cast of the brilliant “Parks and Recreation”.

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Amy Poehler, Rashida Jones, Aubrey Plaza and Retta (in the order they appear in the picture) were perfectly cast for “Parks and Recreation” and had they been cast in “Ghostbusters” rather than the four aforementioned women then I suspect that there would have been far more excitement towards the film, especially as all four are actually funny.

That’s not to say that the poor looking film is all the fault of the four female leads, afterall, they can only read what they’re given by the writers and director, so if people are criticising a film for poorly told jokes and a poorly paced trailer, you have to also have to look at all of those behind the scenes.

The problem with the film so far is that the ghosts look ridiculously cartoonish and the comedy seems exceptionally slapstick, which isn’t in the tradition of the franchise. Now, I know that the first one was released in 1984 and obviously times have changed, but slapstick comedy has never been truly successful at the cinema since the days of Charlie Chaplin, and I highly doubt that’ll change now. One of the many reasons for the success of the original films is that the writing was nailed on perfect and the jokes weren’t in your face like the trailers have made the new one look.

For me, and a lot of people that I know (both male and female), there isn’t a single redeeming feature about it. I’m not a huge fan of the originals, I do like them but would I actively go out of my way to watch them? Probably not. It looking crap has nothing to do with people not liking women in the leading roles. Certain franchises are crap because they’re simply crap, not just because they have female leads. For example, “Alien” is a great example of a female lead franchise that people love, whereas franchises such as “The Hunger Games” and “Twilight” are awful, but they’re not awful because they have a female lead character (although to be fair Stewart does a fantastic job of dragging the latter even further down), they’re awful because they’re simply poorly made films….especially the latter franchise.

To suggest that people don’t like the look of the new “Ghostbusters” film because it’s female lead is not only sexist in itself, but it’s also downright wrong.

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You know, lemme ask you a question first. You’re a heartless bottom feeding motherfucker. Well, I guess it’s not really a question. Is it?

Year Released : 20142rwmR-nuP1M
Director : William H. Macy
Cast : Billy Crudup, Anton Yelchin, Laurence Fishburne, William H. Macy and Felicity Huffman

I write this introduction for this review after watching the film, which is something that most of you know that I don’t do that often, infact it’s very rare indeed, and the reason I have done this is that it was a spur of the moment thing to finally watch a film that had been on my “Films I Want To Watch” playlist for some time after England conceded a last minute equaliser to Russia in the European Championships.

Because of that I had no time to write an introduction beforehand, and I’m sort of glad I didn’t because it was actually going to be my second time of attempting to watch “Rudderless”. The first had come a few months ago but I wasn’t in a mood at the time to watch a near two-hour film (if you haven’t noticed most of my reviewed films fall between 80-100 minutes), but after rewatching the trailer the other night, I knew that it was what I wanted to go with.

Please note that at some point I will be talking about the twist in the film, so please be wary going ahead.

Plot

Sam (Crudup) has just secured a major contract for his advertising firm and he calls his son Josh (Miles Heizer) to celebrate. Josh fails to show up to the bar and it is only as he is leaving that Sam notices that there has been a shooting at Josh’s school, and that he is one of those dead. The family spends several days grieving and Sam returns to work, stating that it’s what he needs.

Two years later Sam has left his job and now works as a contracting assistant at a house, as well as living on a boat. After a visit from his ex-wife (Huffman), he comes across some of his son’s music and he decides that the best way to mourn his son is to sing his music to a mass audience. He goes to a local open-mic night and performs one of Josh’s songs, capturing the attention of Quentin (Yelchin), an aspiring musician that works at a doughnut shop.

After a bit of convincing Sam agrees to let Quentin play with him, and it eventually becomes a band as more members join the band, but when the truth about the day in which Josh died is revealed to the band, it threatens to destroy everything.

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So, the twist?

I’m going to get it out of the way now and talk about the twist. Now, for those who don’t want to read what the twist is, I am going to place a series of ===== after talking about it so that you know where you can rejoin in, but trust me when I say that it is an excellent twist and one of the best I’ve seen in recent years. Alternatively, look to the next image as that will be the point at which I finish talking about the twist.

Right, so if you’re still with me then I assume that you want to know what the twist is then?

Well basically obviously we know that Josh was killed as part of the mass-murder that was committed at his school, but about 3/4 of the way through the film you learn that he was actually the murderer. This isn’t revealed or even generally thought about prior to that point in the film, but the clues are there (such as it seeming very odd that news crews would be so obsessed with getting an interview from Sam) and it also brilliantly explains why Sam has trouble dealing with his grief. Obviously he wants to grieve for his dead son, but he can’t bring himself to accept that his son would do such a terrible act.

The best twists are the ones that make you sit up and focus your eyes on the screen, and that happened for me with this. When you see Sam and his ex-wife at the grave, and you see that it has words such as “murderer” written all over it, it just clicks you’re like “damn, that is a great twist” because up until that point you knew exactly how you felt about the situation, but then it starts making you question the usage of his songs, something which becomes the central plot point of the final half hour or so of the film.

Right, that’s it, spoiler done. I don’t normally do spoilers but I just had to talk about it because of how brilliant it was.

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So away from spoiler talk I have to start with the performance of Billy Crudup. I had only ever seen him in three films (that I can remember him in anyway), Watchmen, Spotlight and Glass Chin, and this was comfortably his best performance across the board for me. He is just fantastic and his delivery of already excellent lines of dialogue were a delight.

It’s at that point where I can’t actually imagine anyone else playing the role of Sam, and he does it so brilliantly, especially in a scene near the end when he finally breaks down over what has happened (see spoiler if you are curious). You are engaged with him as a character, and you understand exactly where he is coming from. His tragic character is brought even more into focus when the twist is revealed, and Crudup brings you right into that character with a heartfelt and laudable performance.

He heads up a cast that are all fantastic, and Anton Yelchin, despite playing what seems like a typecast character for him, is also great. My one real complaint about his character is that Laurence Fishburne’s character mentions that he needed help, but you never truly find out why.

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The music in “Rudderless” is excellent and very catchy, it’s easy to see why people in the film kept going to see them and how they grew, and it might even be worth buying the soundtrack as well, that’s how enjoyable it was.

And finally, I’m going to talk about something I don’t usually talk about and that is the direction of the film. This was William H. Macy’s debut as a director and he made a promising start. I have no idea if he has directed anymore films since (I can’t be bothered to look just for the sake of writing this, I might look afterwards), but if any of his follow ups are anything like this then I would be very keen to see them.

I am actually very surprised that this didn’t get a mainstream release, or at least not in the UK anyway. I think this film would have done very well in the UK market, and I urge anyone who hasn’t seen it to do so.

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Summary

I was sat watching this film with a smile on my face throughout and it’s one of the easiest approved stamps that I have given for quite some time.approved

The acting is fantastic from all concerned and the music throughout brings you right into the film, and you have a genuinely good time watching it, especially with the twist.

I can’t recommend “Rudderless” highly enough.

 

You have an amazing gift! Let’s see what can happen.

Year Released : 2016beforeiwakeposter
Director : Mike Flanagan
Cast : Thomas Jane, Kate Bosworth and Jacob Tremblay

If there is one thing I like then it’s original ideas in films. Now before I go any further, let me clarify that by saying that I know that the idea and plot of this film is not 100% original, but it’s about as close to an original idea that I have reviewed in a while.

The one thing that makes me a bit wary ahead of watching “Before I Wake” is that whilst the trailer starts off very well, and had me hooked straight away, the end of the trailer and the way it seems to rely on jump scares is making me a little less enthusiastic.

Horror films are generally not very original to begin with, with the most recent original film that I’ve seen being the excellent “The Babadook”, but aside from that the millennium so far has been filled with predictable nonsense, such as “The Gallows”, a film that made it to the Number 2 spot on my Bottom 10 of 2015 list.

That being said, I’m prepared to give it a chance as trailers sometimes misrepresent the film….not always, but sometimes.

Plot

Mark (Jane) and Jessie (Bosworth) are still grieving following on from their son’s death from drowning, but they get approval to foster another child and greet Cody (Tremblay) into their home. The homes that Cody has lived in before hand have had unusual events occur, and this soon starts happening as Mark and Jessie notice bizarre butterflies flying around their home, all before vanishing in a flash. Soon after, they see a vision of their dead son and they realise that Cody’s dreams become reality.

Jessie soon purposefully tries to get Cody to fall to sleep on a more regular basis so that she can see her son more and more, but in forcing him to sleep comes a danger as whilst they have seen what happens when he dreams, but not when he has nightmares, and this soon forms a figure that Cody refers to as eating his mother.

One night, after drugging up Cody to force him to sleep, Jessie and Mark seeing the figure for the first time and it absorbs the latter, leaving Jessie on her own as social services find out about her drugging Cody, so she must find a way to not only get her husband back, but Cody as well.

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Does it fall into the traditional cliches?

There are a few moments here and there which definitely fall into the traditional cliches that you find in the horror genre. This ranges from the simple seeing of someone in the background, but when the character looks they’re not there, or hearing a noise and then they only see what’s there when they return to their original position. It’s all a little predictable in places, but other than that I have no real complaints with “Before I Wake”.

The acting from all concerned is very good, and each brings something different to the table. Jacob Tremblay follows on from his exceptional performance in “Room” with playing another damage, albeit less quizzical child. Kate Bosworth’s emotionally distraught portrayal of a grieving mother that’s trying to move on is very engaging, and Thomas Jane does a great job as a man who is desperate to move on and stop reflecting on his now dead son.

I have to say that Tremblay did lose me a bit in the film, he has a great way of portraying youthful innocent, but he doesn’t show anything that you haven’t seen from him before, but if he plays it well then why not play to his strengths? As he gets older he will really need to try different types of roles, even during the immediate further, but he is arguably the go-to young actor for this type of character, and you want him to be safe throughout the movie as he plays Cody with an almost gentle nature.

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Each of the main cast does such a good job that you care about them, but it largely doesn’t feel like they’re in a horror film, or at least one that is designed for anyone over the age of about 12. If this ever is released in the cinema in the UK, I’d be amazed if it isn’t made into a 12A, at most. There’s not really anything outstanding in terms of horror, but this allows plenty of chance and time to develop your characters, and the one minor threat in the film does feel genuinely dangerous.

If it is released in the cinema there is only one or two scenes that might cause distress, but the majority of the film is very reminiscent of films from the peak of Spielberg’s career. There is something wonderous about the film and almost very child-like in its nature.

Not once during the film was I bored. It keeps you interested during it’s 90 or so minute run time and the reason for this is that you’re constantly curious about what’s going on and what will happen next. This is something that is very unusual about something that makes claims that it’s a horror film.

And finally, what I especially love is how a film in which it would have been so easy to end on a negative note, but the film does what a lot of horror films don’t and that is end on a note of hope. Too many horror films go for one final scare, or do something that doesn’t fit the rest of the film, but not “Before I Wake”, and they couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate song to end on than “Welcome Home” by Radical Face. I really want to tell you now how it end, but it would ruin it and as I’m about to give this the approved stamp, I don’t want to do that.

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Summary

A film that suffers a tiny bit from predictable horror cliches, “Before I Wake” is an otherwise very enjoyable film and almost Spielberg-like in nature.approved

The small cast does an excellent job about getting you to care about their characters, and you genuinely feel the strain that is being put on each of them. The film isn’t overly complicated, you understand what’s going on relatively easily, and this is probably going to be the closest thing I review to a children’s horror that I’m likely to on this site.

Don’t let that put you off though. I enjoyed “Before I Wake” and I think you will too though.

You just reached for my phone in a suspicious manner.

Year Released : 2016the_trust_
Director : Alex and Benjamin Brewer
Cast : Nicolas Cage, Elijah Wood and Ethan Suplee

If there’s one thing I like then it’s unpredictable actors, and by that I mean those in which you are never going to truly know what type of role that they’re going to take on next. It’s one of the reasons why I don’t enjoy films by actors such as Jason Statham (who I’m pretty certain plays the same character in every single movie), but and that is certainly isn’t the case with Elijah Wood and Nicolas Cage.

I’m not going to lie, whilst I find the criticism of Nicolas Cage harsh, I’ve never really been that bothered about most of his films, which are very hit and miss to say the least. He was excellent in “Lord of War” and “Kick Ass”, but the less said about some of his other roles, such as that in “Left Behind”, the better.

Elijah Wood on the other hand is definitely a very flexible actor. Since his acclaimed role as Frodo in the “Lord of the Rings” franchise, Mr Wood has chosen a variety of different projects in a variety of genres. One minute he’s a football hooligan in “Green Street”, or a psychopath in “Maniac”, and the next he is a poetry lover that meets his hero in “Set Fire to the Stars”.

They are two very diverse actors, and it’ll be interesting to see if they can pull off working together.

Plot

Stone (Cage) and Waters (Wood) are two cops that work in the evidence room at the precinct. They are exceptionally bored by their lives, that is until they realise that something fishy is going on down at a local company following on from a massive bail receipt for one it’s workers. They travel to the address listed and discover a building in which deliveries are always being made, but not once does a vehicle leave the building.

The two work out that there must be something worth hiding in there and they start making plans to break into the building, including buying a drill that costs $20,000, something that neither of them can really afford, but they do it anyway. Waters gains a copy of the blueprints and figures out that a specific room in the building must be a very large safe.

One night they break into the apartment directly above the location of the supposed safe. They eventually successfully get into the safe, but what’s in there is something that Waters hadn’t anticipated, and the pair should be more worried about what’s in the apartment.

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Do Wood and Cage work well together?

There is definitely a “buddy cop” feel to a large portion of this movie, which does work quite well thanks to the efforts of Wood and Cage respectively, but the problems with “The Trust” aren’t to do with the acting, it’s the lack of tension in the story and the way it’s pretty much a film of two halves.

The dynamic between Stone and Waters works well, and is probably the only part of the final act that I did actually like. Their relationship shifts and develops well throughout the story, and you can see where both are coming from in the final few scenes as things start doing against how one of them had planned. You never truly feel as though they’re acting out of more than just a common interested, and this is excellently evidenced in the final 20 or so minutes. That’s where the positives end.

Whilst the first half of the story feels like a dark-comedy set in a neo-noir style setting, the second half of the film feels very serious and is far less enjoyable. You see where both characters are coming from when they get further down the line in the film, but everything in the final act of the film, especially the final five or so minutes, feels very forced and unnatural.

I’m not going to sit here and claim that I was going to give it the approved stamp at any point, it isn’t that the film was that great in the first half of the film, but the second half is definitely weaker, and the way that the film ends just feels so “meh”. This is because of a character that is introduced in the final third of the film that doesn’t seem to really add any value whatsoever, except for having an impact on the fate of one of the two characters.

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Therein is the problem with “The Trust”, there aren’t that many characters, and those that are there aren’t really that interesting. Whilst Stone and Waters are obviously built well, they’re not supported in the slightest by other characters, especially Ethan Suplee’s character (simply called Detective in the credits), a character who has development that starts and ends with that he likes to play Russian Roulette with people he is interrogating. If you can’t be bothered to give your character a proper name then why should I be invested?

Visually the film is appealing in the early parts (I’m a sucker for neon), but as the film goes on it gets considerably grayer and less attention grabbing, and the soundtrack is similar in many ways, in toher words getting gradually less interesting as the film’s run time commences.

Overall, “The Trust” is ok, at best. I think of it in a way that had I seen it at the cinema then would it feature in my bottom 10 for a year? Probably not, but it wouldn’t feature on a list that resembled anything majorly positive.

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Summary

A film where the trailer didn’t really reflect the more interesting parts of the story is common place these days, but even then this whole film feels pretty disconnected from it, and it’s really worth the 90 minutes of effort you’ll put in if you’ll watch it.

Wood and Cage do a reasonable job, but are given a very distinctive lack of support from an underwhelming cast of supporting characters, and a film that loses a lot of it’s watchability factor as it goes on.

If you’re going to watch it, then don’t be surprised to not be enjoying yourself.