Sword of Trust

Actors intend sell a valuable sword in consistent comedy.

I’ve seen formulaic situations where characters have to rip each other apart in order to win big money off an item. I’m not talking “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World” comedy, but about a valuable item. I don’t watch every trailer to artisan films, because I’d rather be surprised like my grandfather, and as I started watching “Sword of Trust,” I was concerned it would take that generic path.

However, as I continued viewing it, I realized it’s much better than you anticipate. In fact, it’s about people who have their own situations, and then come together to get a good price for their item. Writer/director Lynn Shelton (“Your Sister’s Sister”) and co-writer Mike O’Brien (“Booksmart,” “SNL”) allow the characters to come to their senses, and they even have memorable cameos themselves.

As the film begins, lovers Cynthia (Jillian Bell) and Mary (Michaela Watkins) are settling Cynthia’s late grandfather’s affairs. They can’t get his home, since it belongs to the bank due to its reverse mortgage, but they receive his prized Civil War sword (the item I’m referring to), passed down from his great grandfather.

As they present the sword to pawnshop owners Mel (Marc Maron) and Nathaniel (Jon Bass), they reveal that the sword is proof that the South won the war. That, documents, and a drawing; but Mel is clearly unconvinced about that doctored piece of history.

That is until, he and Nathaniel discover there’s more people who believe that, and discover the sword is worth thousands. They plan to sell it, on the condition that Mel, Nathaniel, Mary, and Cynthia split the profits 50/50.

Toby Huss (“King of the Hill”) and Dan Bakkedahl (“Veep”) play racist buyers, who offers them a deal. So, they makes them take a ride in the back of a box truck to their establishment, where the four characters acknowledge each other’s life situations.

I’ve seen Marc Maron in supporting roles in such comedies as “Sleepwalk with Me” and “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates,” but I think “Sword of Trust” feature this best role to date. His raw material allows him to eat up the script, and he adds an emotional side to himself.

I’m itching to see Jillian Bell in “Brittany Runs a Marathon,” and I’ve seen her in comedies like “22 Jump Street” and “Rough Night.” I also met her 3 years ago, and she’s really a nice person. In this movie, she has sincere moments, as well as a nice chemistry with Michaela Watkins, who also has intelligence in her character.

And Jon Bass (“Baywatch,” “Loving”) delivers some charming supporting work as Mel’s slacker assistant, who believes the Earth is hallow. I admire the connection he has with Maron, and how he picks up the pace. I wasn’t a fan of him in ‘Baywatch,” because of how humiliating his character was, but “Sword of Trust” makes me rethink of him as a humorous actor.

It lags a bit at times, but kudos to Shelton and O’Brien for lacking the routine money episodes, and adding people to the plot. And credit also goes to Maron, Bass, Watkins, and Bell for being civilized.


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