By Clint Morris
Within the first few minutes of his new film Nicolas Cage, a man whose mission statement has recently been modified to reflect his gyrate elect of money over merit, demands cash from someone on the end of the phone line. “No, it has to be cash!” the Oscar Winning actor cum Johnny Blazing Hairplugs states.
And then again, the clandestine Coppola reminds the person he wants cash.
We get it. He wants cash. In full. Now.
A few minutes later someone else loses control of the wheel and screeches offcourse and headed towards destruction.
Funny how film sometimes mirrors real life.
Cage, who spends more time pissing away money in Vegas comic book stores than leaving the place for Oscars, will do anything for some stained greenbacks these days.
Anything. Dishes need doing? Cage will grab a fuckin’ tea towel, Got something that needs waxing? Open up for Nic! Shitty movie that’ll debut on video-on-demand? Done! If the Price is Right, Cage will do it. He’s the Bob Barker of Bullshit movies.
Oh, so long as you’re paying in cash. He needs more comic books. Cash, right!?
As for the vehicle going off course? That’d be this one.
A two hander starring Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman? Directed by the gent that gave us ”The Lost Boys” and ”Flatliners”? Wow, that’s gotta work right? Well, in 1988 maybe – before Cage, Kidman and Schumacher started riding shotgun in Biff Tannen’s manure-covered carrier. Like a brand new Porsche back in the Reagan era, neither Cage, Kidman or even director Joel Schumacher’s vehicles run that well anymore – in the case of “Tresspass”, it merely bunny hops it’s way to the end credits. And like the dude that fucked up his Porsche by crunching the gears too often, it’s no fault of their own.
Schumacher was one of my favourite filmmakers – loved his stuff. Cage, at one time, was also one of the most impressive actors around – remember “Moonstruck”!? “Peggy Sue Got Married”!? “Wild at Heart”!? “Leaving Las Vegas”!? “Adaptation!”? “Con-Air!”? “The Rock”!? “Face/Off”!? And Kidman, despite her few and far between hits in recent years, use to harbour some strain of talent – in fact “Trespass”, with its kidnapping theme, only serves to remind us how much better she was – not to mention how much better the film was than this one – in “Dead Calm”.
But whatever, the three got lazy, seemingly became apathetic in the art and then got together to cook a turkey.
“Tresspass” isn’t a film, it’s an arcade claw machine masquerading as a film. There’s enough in it to think there might be a good picture in there somewhere – nothing like a good hostage drama when done well – but mostly, it struggles to hold onto its audience. It doesn’t even attempt to engage. One pictures Schumacher asleep behind the camera the whole time.
Cage is the rich jeweler hubby. Kidman is the trophy wife. They have a kid. A big house. And are about as happy as an impeached politician. The wife inadvertently invites a group of thieves into their house (don’t want to spoil the film’s only surprise. heh) who are hell-bent on snagging an inestimable sparkler. The gang, of course, are made up of the crazy, conflicted and just plain brutal. But everything will work out just fine, you know that.
And blah blah blah…
The guy you most feel sorry for here is Ben Mendelsohn. In what was supposed to be his big break in America, the acclaimed Aussie actor of film and TV – hot off the success and his bravura performance in “Animal Kingdom” – snagged the role of the film’s lead villain. And he does quite well, too – despite being covered in a balaclava for most of it. Donning a reasonably credible Yankee accent and seemingly getting into the role as much as he would any other part, Mendelsohn tries his hardest to elevate the film above mediocrity. I’m sure he’ll be having a good laugh about this one in interviews in the future but for the moment he’s gotta be very, very disappointed that he chose to be part of such a dud.
Want a watch good movie called “Trespass”!?