When it comes to the later films of Nicolas Cage, concepts like “good” and “bad” can be fuzzy to the point of meaninglessness. What other major movie star has fans rooting so doggedly for his films to fly off the rails in the most spectacular manner imaginable? These days, just about the only thing more entertaining than a good Nicolas Cage movie is a flamboyantly awful one. Trespass, an insane new home-invasion thriller from Joel Schumacher, makes a strong case for enshrinement in the pantheon of enjoyably awful Cage movies like The Wicker Man, even before the compulsive castle-buyer screams to wife Nicole Kidman, in regard to the lunatics menacing them, “Your filthy lust invited them in!” There’s no way that line won’t sound hilarious coming out of Cage’s mouth, especially on the heels of some of the most exquisitely overwrought dialogue this side of Zandalee.
Cage squeezes uncomfortably into the wardrobe of Jeremy Piven’s slick Entourage agent to play a diamond merchant with a distractingly receding hairline, a gift for gab, and a troubled marriage to Kidman, who has been trading lascivious glances with hunky security guard Cam Gigandet in Harlequin-style heavy-breathing flashbacks that grow increasingly hilarious as the film progresses. The fault lines in Cage and Kidman’s marriage are tested when the couple’s home is invaded by a quartet of thugs whose motives remain enigmatic even as they offer multiple rationales for their crimes.
Most melodramas would be content with one crazy-ass criminal wild card throwing tricky variables into an already-tense situation. Not Trespass, where damn near every criminal is a wild card. First and foremost, there’s the hilariously miscast Gigandet twitching maniacally as a psychotic obsessed with Kidman. Gigandet has plenty of competition in the overacting Olympics, however, from Dash Mihok as his menacing partner in crime and Jordana Spiro as a tweaker whose addiction to crystal meth compromises her skills as a criminal. Trespass begins loopy and mounts in craziness until it’s frothing-at-the-mouth insane. It’s hard to sustain that level of inspired lunacy over the course of 90 minutes, but Trespass is up to the challenge. As always, it’s foolish to underestimate the appeal of Cage at his most agreeably unhinged.