A review of Nicolas Cage’s unbearable weight of massive talent

Nicolas Cage plays himself - several times - in The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent

Nicolas Cage plays himself – several times – in The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent
Photo: Lionsgate

IN The unbearable weight of massive talent, Nicolas Cage makes out with himself. Literally.

Not only will this tell you if you are the target audience for The unbearable weight of massive talent, but it should be more than enough to ask you to pre-book your ticket before you finish reading this sentence. This is a movie for the person who bookmarks YouTube clips of Cage shouting the alphabet The vampire’s kiss. Who drops “NOT THE BEES!” in conversations, whether relevant or not. And who at least thought of ordering pajamas designed with Cages face stretched across them when a website offered them online. You will feel seen.

Considering how many mediocre movie fans have sat through to be considered a Cage competitor, The unbearable weight of massive talent is a well-deserved reward. Pay The Ghost may reject the actor’s claim that he has never called a show, and Left behind may live up to its title, but director Tom Gormican and co-writer and executive producer Kevin Etten deliver the ultimate Cage experience, with the possible exception of Bad Lieutenant: Port of call New Orleans, which may never be topped. This is the best possible version of one of those direct-to-video movies, and everything a fan could want from Cage.

How this can play for more casual Cage fans who mainly know him from things like Leaving Las Vegas and Moonstruck missing to see. But as a meta-commentary on fandom in general, it’s refreshing to see a superfan who looks more like Pedro Pascal than The Simpsons‘Comic Book Guy, especially in a world where so-called “nerd” franchises like it Star wars and Marvel is loved by a large cross-section of society.

The real Nicolas Cage is reportedly quite shy. The Cage appearing in The unbearable weight of massive talent is loud, talkative and narcissistic, with a career in decline and relationships with his wife Olivia (Sharon Horgan) and daughter Addy (Lily Sheen), who are alienated. Sheen, the child of Michael Sheen and Kate Beckinsale, has real-world experience as a celebrity’s daughter, but creating this fictional family solves potential copyright issues for Cage’s real, as his own child is named after DC’s First Son of Krypton, Kal- El.

Depressed, drunk and on the verge of quitting to stop playing, Cage accepts a million offer to attend a rich fans birthday party in Mallorca. Javi (Pedro Pascal) hopes Cage will like his script and make a movie with him, but their quick friendship hits a chin as the super fan turns out to be a big criminal family at all, complete with a kidnapped girl hidden in his fortress-like property. Two CIA agents, played by Tiffany Haddish and Ike Barinholtz (reunited from Eden)use Cage’s fatherly guilt to force him to spy on them.

As a pretext for spying longer, Cage persuades Javi to collaborate on a new script that does not surprisingly reflect the film that viewers are watching. It’s a clever riff on Customizationespecially since the actor again plays two roles – the “contemporary” Cage and the young “Nicky” from his Wild at heart era that appears as a hallucination to exhort his present self.

Gormican and Etten’s knowledge of Cage is detailed enough to repeatedly drop phrases throughout the film as “nouveau shamanic”, a term he has used in real life to describe his acting technique. Naturally, the jerky, shouting Cage prefers over his more subdued alter egos, leaving Pascal to deal with the more human moments. In fact, Javi turns out to be so lovable that the filmmakers no doubt give him approval for some of his bad behavior, but they follow it with a twist that justifies the choice.

If the movie was just meme moments, it could run out of steam, even when Cage delivered them virtually nonstop. Fortunately, there is an actual plot that allows everyone else (and the film as a whole) to falsify lesser Cage-specific tropes. While idolizing Cage’s nouveau-shamanistic style – as it is – the film even gives time to make fun of method acting, while at the same time casting some shadow over actors like Jared Leto who swear by practice.

Giving Cage a scolding, the Irish ex-wife is a good choice, and Horgan not only serves up fair reality, but occasionally swears at him with a well-placed “fookin ‘Jaysus!” That said, none of his co-stars can top his inevitably insta-viral signature line “Nic FUCKIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII CII” as he screams with exactly as much unique, unforgettable intensity as you would expect.

Once again, that’s probably all you need to hear. But while metatextual storytelling can sometimes feel a little too much like filmmakers chasing their own tails, The unbearable weight of massive talent offers viewers a unique and welcome alternative: Nicolas Cage slips a small tongue.

Leave a Comment