April 21, 2022

CINEMA | Peak Cage – 'The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent'

"You're not an actor. You're a f*cking movie star!"
Nicolas Cage Anna MacDonald Sharon Horgan Tom Gormican | The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
Lionsgate / Mongrel Media
Prolific movie star Nicolas Cage both makes fun and celebrates of his own late career Hollywood image by starring as a fictionalized version of himself ("Nick Cage") in director Tom Gormican's amusing comeback meta action-comedy, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. It's a mostly charming, somewhat scattered ride anchored by Cage's go-for-it performance that's unafraid to mine his real life in fairly ridiculous ways.

Despite the central self-referential premise, Pedro Pascal steals the film as a wealthy superfan who hires Cage to attend his birthday party in Spain. He offers an earnestly sweet character as the pair's relationship blossoms into a full-on bromance of mutual affection. Things get complicated when Tiffany Haddish's CIA agent tries to recruit Cage to spy on Pascal's Javi and his connections to organized crime.

Gormican and Kevin Etten's script runs around a bit in both trying to do too much for comedic effect while also leaving plenty of room for one-on-one scenes of character development. By the final act, things definitely turn into a full-blown but kind of generic action flick—not totally unlike the many direct-to-VOD streaming titles Cage has starred in as of late in order to pay back his well-publicized back taxes.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is fun for fans of Cage's filmography and eccentric personality as a performer. He clearly has a sense of humour about his image yet takes it seriously and commits to the absurdity of the role—as himself, ironically. It's peak Cage and possibly the beginning of another Age of Cage.


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