Set in a tiny rural community where difference is less a gift than an albatross, “Cage in Box Elder” tracks a developmentally disabled young man struggling to forge his own identity. Despite good intentions, there’s little to recommend in this wholly uneven, uninvolving and underwritten (by lead thesp Adam Smoot) pic.
Cage (Smoot) was a drug baby adopted and raised by two lesbians who strenuously attempted to school him in the virtues of character and honesty. After having secured a job on a dairy farm run by an abusive man, Cage befriends a youth (David Stevens) and his crackhead girlfriend (Kylee Cochran), who prove they’re not so much friends as opportunists. Turning to a self-proclaimed man of God, Cage tries to make sense of the confusion and violence around him. He hopes that faith will lead him to paradise, which he’s defined by his longtime dream of riding a roller coaster. The roller-coaster events of Cage’s life lead him to make a choice that is, frankly, ridiculous. Smoot’s performance shows shades of depth, but there are so many inconsistencies in the film that it’s difficult to care about anyone.