Las Vegas is home to ordinary people who take the bus to work like everyone else. In The Trust, the stylish new heist film from Alex and Benjamin Brewer, we get a brief, satisfying, darkly comic peek at everyday Vegas life as lived by low-level LVPD officers. Then the film quickly loses focus and forgets the quirky characters that make the city — and the story — special. Cops Waters (Elijah Wood) and Stone (Nicolas Cage) are bored. Waters can barely muster enthusiasm for the prostitute he's paid for, and Stone uses a stash of coke found in an impounded car to track down a big haul from some drug dealers — he's looking for a score, not a bust, and he convinces Waters to take a chance on the scam.
At first The Trust seems like the perfect vehicle for Nic Cage to be Nic Cage and for straight-man foil Elijah Wood to over-enunciate like he's back in Middle Earth. But when Stone shoots a gun dealer point blank for no discernible reason -- and with no reaction shots to let us appraise how he feels -- the movie launches into another hour and a half of jumbled heisting and slow-moving action.
Jerry Lewis shows up as Stone's father, but he's given a few lines of dialogue then discarded. The same goes for Sky Ferreira, whose character is credited as "Woman" and is mostly silent. The other top-billed female characters are "Prostitute #1," "Pretty Hotel Worker," "Cute Evidence Technician" and "Handjob Girl." That gets at why the story dissipates as it goes. Good heist movies feature full-fledged characters whose jobs are to complicate the story. Handjob Girl will not be that person.