Directed by: Joel Schumacher
Cast: Nicolas Cage, Nicole Kidman, Cam Gigandget
Running Time: 1 hr 35 mins
Release Date: October 14, 2011 (Chicago and VOD)
PLOT: A diamond dealer (Cage) and his wife and daughter are taken hostage by a group of thieves (Mendelsohn, Gigandet) who need money for mysterious reasons.
WHO’S IT FOR?: If you really like to watch your Nicolas Cage movies with an extra helping of giggles, consider dishing out some dough for Trespass. Of course, if you like like to take movies seriously, don’t bother with this one.
EXPECTATIONS: Too many odd components to Trespass made this one seem questionable. Why is a movie with Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman getting a near instant On-Demand treatment? And as it is directed by Joel Schumacher, how bad could the former Woody Allen movie costume designer be this time?
Nicolas Cage as Kyle Miller: The “Cagemaster” plays this smart-ass diamond dealer like a mix between Nicolas Cage and Velma from “Scooby-Doo.” As the movie goes on, Cage seems to become aggravated with this story, and resumes his habit of speaking from the side of his mouth (listen for it, there’s a difference). Cage is given some extremely silly dialogue, and then pushes such monologues until they fall off of Laughter Mountain. Whether this is intentional from the same great actor who did Bad Lieutenant: Port of New Orleans, I’m not sure. I don’t think we’ll ever know.
Nicole Kidman as Sarah Miller: Just like her mysterious presence in the Adam Sandler dud Just Go With It, Kidman turns herself into another doll, playing below any type of standard she had previously set for herself (Who does she think she is, Nicolas Cage?) She’s a screaming rag doll here, who tends to get thrown around and put into goofy scenarios (like this movie).
Cam Gigandet as Jonah: As the corny sensitive killer thug, the former Twilight star wrestles with Taylor Launter’s appearance in Abduction for a Razzie (or even worse, the Cagemaster himself). Too often, Schumacher makes him pose and stare hopelessly at Kidman’s character, who is his crush. Gigdanet should take a lesson from Nicolas Cage on “Super Freakouts 101,” as the young actor’s impression of being angry is akin to a bratty boy swapping flies.
Ben Mendelsohn as Elias: The only casualty of Trespass is Mendelsohn. He positively roared in the ferocious Australian film Animal Kingdom last year, and now he’s been designated to an dumb blabbermouth of a robber. Mendelsohn doesn’t need to wear panty hose over his face and hold a gun to leave a lasting and positive impression. He also doesn’t need to talk that much, geez.
TALKING: The “mindgames” of Trespass involve the characters going on tangents, sometimes lying about entire stories that just seem to fill up screen time (the kidney episode, for example). When Cage and Mendelsohn aren’t trying to out wit each other, or simply not be the dumb one in the room, the movie usually puts them into shout-heavy stand-offs.
SIGHTS: Trespass kindly escorts itself to the trash barrel instantaneously with its “sensual” flashbacks, which take Gigandet’s attempt at being serious and Kidman’s attempt at getting out of this one alive down with it. These monstrously awful flashbacks of “tense chemistry” between the two look more like preludes to decade-old porn than anything else. The lighting is bad, the fogginess of the image is just silly, and someone should’ve stopped this from happening.
SOUNDS: With all of its shouting and occasional scuffles, Trespass is a fairly loud movie. Its score does little to help the movie, other than remind the audience to feel a certain way about a scenario (whether we actually are doing so or not).
BEST SCENE: Cage’s rant about “the etymology of diamonds” is pretty funny.
ENDING: Gigandet sure “nailed” that burning house scene.
QUESTIONS: Did Schumacher just shrug his shoulders during the entire time this movie was made? Why didn’t the robbers just steal their furniture?
REWATCHABILITY: Possibly. It would be a shame to devoid myself of excellent bad movie entertainment. Especially with a couple beers, Trespass could definitely service as just that.
In a world with a lower average IQ than our own, Trespass would be a great thriller. Its many “twists” would be deemed just that, instead of lame “gotcha” moments used by this obviously first-time screenwriter to blatantly mislead his audience while beefing up the running time. The performances across the board would be met with more sincerity, instead of multiple moments of laugh-out-loud fun (an extremely higher number than even What’s Your Number?). Gigdanet’s on-screen “duality” would come through more clearly, instead of as just one silly misfire of a performance.
Trespass is a consistently incompetent movie that profoundly lowers its intelligent potential, but always thinks it is quite clever. With similar quality to the best of bad movies, it is too proud to notice its errors (the studio that is sending this sucker straight to VOD aren’t, however).
This movie is a Contagion-like spreading of Nicolas Cage Syndrome. While this certainly isn’t the ultimate Nicolas Cage movie, it very well could be “Nicolas Cage: The Movie.” Just like Cage has done in choosing so many bad scripts in his busy past, so now have some of the other talented folk involved with this movie, who just grit their teeth through this movie’s many lashings of silliness. Gigandet and Schumacher are immune to NCS because they are already clowns.
Everyone has bitten into Cage’s gambit. Cage is king. I don’t call him “The Cagemaster” for nothing.
FINAL SCORE: 3/10