Trespass (2011): You Hit the Motherlode (of Confusion)! [Joey’s Review]
When Mike and I recorded our podcast for TRESPASS, we spent more than 20 minutes going through, character by character, and trying to figure out why everyone was doing the things they were doing. At the end of the day, we had very few answers. That’s because this movie, for the most part, is pretty terrible and poorly written. The good news, though, is that it’s fun! It’s fun because it’s bad and confusing and over-complicated and over-stuffed.
According to internet lore, Nicolas Cage left set one day and demanded to switch roles into the kidnapper (played by Ben Mendelsohn, returning from KNOWING), rather than the father whose home is invaded. The next day, supposedly, he returned to set and all was well.
This is worth talking about for a few reasons. First and foremost, it seems to go against everything that we’ve come to about Cage up to this point in his career. While we don’t have complete behind-the-scenes looks at each of his first 65 or so films, it seems like he’s always willing to do whatever it takes to make a film better, whether that’s helping write scenes or taking up directing duties or lending personal items to be used in the film. Having him storm off set doesn’t play in with the Cage we’ve come to know.
It’s also worth noting because the kidnapper is the role that Cage should have played in this film. There’s more room for him to flex his muscles, and it’s a part that’s better suited to his talents. Getting stuck as the sniveling victim with very little arc doesn’t suit him well. That’s more a problem with the overall writing of the film, rather than with the way that Cage portrays his character. Regardless of the reason, though, his part in this film isn’t great.
It’s also worth pointing out that we’re in the very-near aftermath of Cage’s real-life troubles with the IRS. He did five films in 2011. I’m assuming most of these roles were accepted in 2010, which is just a year after his financial troubles began. It’s not too tough to guess that he may be accepting roles just for the paycheck at this point, rather than for artistic expression. I can see him accepting this movie — getting a chance to work with Joel Schumacher again and getting to work with Nicole Kidman for the first time — without paying much mind to the script. Then, upon realizing how big of a mess this all was, maybe he freaked out a bit.
Regardless of his reason in taking this role, this movie is kind of a mess. It’s worth watching because it’s such a mess, though, and there are a few genuine crazy Cage freakout moments. I enjoyed watching this a lot, so maybe you will, too?
Oh! Also big shoutout to Emily Meade, who’s playing a character in this that’s super similar to her role as Aimee in THE LEFTOVERS. Except this girl disappears after a few minutes, rather than capturing my heart like Aimee did.
How can I watch it? Just like last time, you can catch it for free on Netflix.
What’s up next? It’s time for our second #CageClub sequel: GHOST RIDER: SPIRIT OF VENGEANCE!