“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent”

MOVIE REVIEW: “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” stars Nicolas Cage (Raising Arizona, Adaptation.), Pedro Pascal (Wonder Woman 1984, The Mandalorian [TV series]), Tiffany Haddish (Here Today [2021], Night School), Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe [TV series], Game Night), Paco León (Kiki Love to Love, Carmina or Blow Up), Neil Patrick Harris (Gone Girl, How I Met Your Mother [TV series]), Lily Mo Sheen (Everybody’s Fine, Underworld: Evolution), Alessandra Mastronardi (To Rome with Love, Master of None [TV series]), and Ike Barinholtz (Suicide Squad, The Mindy Project [TV series]). It is directed by Tom Gormican (That Awkward Moment, Ghosted [TV series]), who wrote the screenplay with Kevin Etten (Workaholics [TV series], Desperate Housewives [TV series]).

Washed up movie star Nicolas Cage (Cage) is asked to attend the birthday party of a superfan (Pascal) for one million dollars. Little does he know that this superfan is dangerous, and wanted by the CIA.

Cinema can’t be more self-aware than this…

Fellas. Amigos. People on the internet. They did it. Hollywood heard the cries, saw the memes, and decided to grant us a Nicolas Cage film… about Nicolas Cage. Dreams really do come true, don’t they?

When word of this movie leaked, I was incredibly eager to see it in the theater. Nicolas Cage is a gem, and I mean that. While over-the-top and often chaotic, Cage manages to lure in audiences with his tenacity and authenticity. There’s no one like him. I grew up with the guy through the “National Treasure” flicks, laughed at him in his wide array of direct-to-video bombs, and admired him in the roles where he actually impressed me (“Raising Arizona,” “Adaptation,” “Family Man”). To have a produced feature acknowledge both his talent, quirkiness, and star power is a feat in and of itself. One I was glad to finally take part in a week ago via Redbox (alas, I never made it to the theater).

“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” delivers on what you would want it to, while at the same time providing its own tale. You can’t expect Nic Cage himself to act in a roast or complete parody, so the story has more to offer. The fictionalized version of Cage gets entangled in a government operation when he signs on to stay with a superfan for a few days; a superfan who is connected to some dangerous people. What unfolds is an action-packed comedy that entertains and excites, with fun performances, solid cinematography, and an adventure that ultimately makes for an enjoyable evening.

Starting with the performances, one must give the greatest pat on the back to Mr. Nicolas Cage, who graciously lent himself to such a bizarre project. The man killed it as himself. Truly, no one could’ve been a better Cage. He does what he knows best and easily stole the show. Alongside him on both sides of the political coin are superfan Javi Gutierrez and CIA operative Vivian, played by Pedro Pascal and Tiffany Haddish. Both did a solid job, though Pascal electrified. His goofy character made for a great foil to Cage, and the two established such a wonderful chemistry that became a nice centerpiece to the story. While it was an ode to Cage, it was very much a Nic and Javi experience.

Aesthetic-wise, this movie checks the boxes. We bounce between both Hollywood and Majorca, the latter of which was quite beautiful. I loved the scenery and moments sprung from it. There were some pretty dope shots captured, particularly that of the cliff dive and high-speed-chase-on-acid sequence that Nic and Javi endured. The imagery made for good eye candy and sweetened the pot of this entertaining story, which did a good job in delivering some heart to a rather odd, self-aware concept.

The narrative of “Unbearable Weight” works in its own way. Most show up for the parody of Cage (and there’s plenty to behold), though its all packaged in an action-spy caper. Cage becomes an investigator in order to save his own skin, which is fun, but don’t expect anything too different. The film certainly taps into the tropes of the genre, while not necessarily re-inventing the wheel. Quite a bit is predictable, with only Cage’s antics being the thing that keep you on your toes. As the plot unfolds, the narrative doubles down on its spy mission, becoming all the more ludicrous as Cage has to thwart an entire foreign operation of evilness. Really, it’s playing into Cage’s knack for action roles, which I appreciate. However, it’s not like it blows me away. The lesson to be learned is how self-absorbtion ruins relationships, which is fairly surface level; the real appeal is who is self-absorbed (that being Cage).

“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” is a highly entertaining flick that is for the Cage fans. While it does a good enough job delivering an action-spy adventure, I don’t necessarily see moviegoers being astonished by that element. Really, this is a niche feature that works for this reviewer. If you are indeed a fan of Nicolas Cage and self-aware humor, I say it’s definitely worth checking out. FINAL SCORE: 83%= Juicy Popcorn

Here is the trailer:

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