Review by Camden Ferrell
Cinema has always been fascinated with relationships and the cheaters and plotters who are often in them. The newest film from writer/director Brian DeCubellis is such a film. In his second feature, he is able to get some decent performances from his actors, but the film is ultimately contrived and repetitive.
Brooke is an art gallery owner, and her husband Owen is a news reporter. Their marriage starts to slowly fall apart when Brooke goes to Paris with a promiscuous new artist and Owen meets a seductive woman at a local bar. They both must navigate these situations and see if their marriage can withstand their temptations. This is a decent premise even if it isn’t entirely original.
The script by DeCubellis, Kristen Lazarian, and K.S. Bruce isn’t as developed as it could have been. In an effort to be subversive, it’s ultimately messy and convoluted. The dialogue is bland and doesn’t do much to develop its characters or explore its themes. There are a handful of good exchanges, but as a whole it doesn’t do much to elevate the film.
The acting is the best part of the movie, but it still finds itself becoming somewhat forgettable. Victoria Justice leads the film as Brooke, and she delivers the best performance in the film. It’s not perfect, but she does handle the dramatic scenes well. She co-leads the film with Matthew Daddario who plays Owen. He is also pretty decent in the dramatic scenes alongside Justice even if as a whole, it’s not a particularly memorable performance.
The film’s execution also doesn’t do it justice. It’s a film that relies entirely on its narrative twists and subversions, but it’s not executed in a manner that makes it most effective. It’s messy, and it can be quite predictable at times. Certain surprises lack the shock and tension that it could have had, and it doesn’t fully lean into the constant twists and turns, and it isn’t very compelling.
For a movie that has tried to come off as a sexy and unpredictable ride, it doesn’t fully work on either of those fronts. The film isn’t as steamy or as erotic in the scenes that were supposed to be, and as a whole, the film is tepid at best. Aside from Justice and Daddario, the cast doesn’t have too much chemistry, and that makes for scenes of intimacy that lack passion.
Unfortunately, this movie doesn’t have too many redeeming qualities. Its editing is inconsistent, and its production has superficial flaws that make the film feel somewhat cheap. While it may appeal to certain viewers, most people will find themselves uninvested in the journeys of the protagonists. On top of that, the senseless final moments will most likely frustrate the viewers who were invested in the story.
Trust sets out to be a twisty and steamy romance movie, but it fails to succeed despite a fairly decent performance from Victoria Justice. Decubellis’ second feature film isn’t very accomplished, and it lacks the passion and energy that the movie desperately needed.
Trust is in select theaters and on VOD March 12.