Even without having watched the trailer, I was completely intrigued by the premise of this film. When you add in Nick Cage starring as himself, it was inevitable that I wanted to see the movie. I hoped that the story would be fun and that the idea would be as funny as it seemed. After watching, Nick Cage, Pedro Pascal, and Tiffany Hadish are hilarious. The film brilliantly lampoons Hollywood, and the story is brilliantly meta with an insanely funny send-up of Nick Cage.
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is an action comedy film directed by Tom Gormican from a screenplay written by Kevin Etten. In the movie, Nick Cage plays a fictionalized version of himself, divorced from and struggling to get along with his teenage daughter, Addy Cage (Lily Sheen). His ex-wife Olivia (Sharon Horgan) is frustrated with him, and he isn’t being offered roles, so he can’t pay his bills. When his agent, Richard Fink (Neil Patrick Harris), comes to him with an offer to be paid one million to go to the birthday party of a fan, he reluctantly agrees. The party is in Majorca, and things take a wild turn for Nick. He is approached by Vivian (Tiffany Haddish), a CIA agent, and her partner, Martin (Ike Barinholz), to spy on his host, Javier Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal), because they believe him to be a notorious arms dealer who’s kidnapped a politician’s daughter. Nick must pull on all of his previous acting roles to extricate himself and his family from the situation.
There are several reasons this film worked. First, for starters, it doesn’t take anything seriously. It does a fabulous job of sending up Hollywood and actors in general and poking fun at Nick Cage specifically. There is a gaggle of bits that make fun of roles Nick has played or situations he’s had in his life. There are also multiple references to his past films and roles because Javier is a big fan. The comedy is well done, using wild, over-the-top scenarios like Nick Cage and Javier getting stoned while out driving or Nick dressing up in disguise to get into an armed compound. The jokes are well written, like the pair bawling over the film Paddington 2 or the dialogue between him and Vivian. There is also Nick’s alter-ego Nicky Cage, a figment of his imagination which he fights with. The comedy and action combine to create a fantastic over-the-top ride for viewers.
The story itself allows plenty of room for comedy. It is not a terribly original plot, but it is meant to be used as a vehicle for jokes and humor. It is also structured to satirize Hollywood’s process of creating films and screenplays. And with that as a perspective, it is quite brilliant, pointing out the hypocrisy of Hollywood and how hard it is for an actor to remain relevant and work in Hollywood.
The biggest reason this film works, though, is the performances. Nick Cage is in peak form, making fun of himself and many of his most prominent roles. He and Pedro Pascal have a rich dynamic, one that feels authentic. Pedro Pascal is completely crazy and every bit as funny as Nick Cage, managing to steal every scene whenever he’s on the screen. While these two have the most significant roles and the best performances, Tiffany Haddish is equally skilled in her performance as Vivian. She is entertaining as her character spars with and recruits Nick. Ike Barinholz as her partner Martin has excellent comedic timing. Lily Sheen and Sharon Horgan are great in their roles, adding a different level of humor. Nobody can be as scornful as a teenager, and in this, Lily Sheen excels. Neil Patrick Harris is superb as Richard Fink, and indeed all the performances are excellent.
While there are some brilliant moments, a few are just over the top or don’t use Nick Cage’s performance to the highest level. He can be a skilled actor, and there were a few times when those around him outshined his performance. And there are a few scenes that throw you totally out of the story, especially one of the scenes with Nick’s alter ego. As I said, the story is fairly predictable; it is the humor that makes this film. That said, I still found it laugh-out-loud funny and had brilliant satirical jokes about Hollywood and Nick Cage. And Nick Cage seemed comfortable with poking fun at himself.
If you’ve loved Nick Cage, as I have, you might really enjoy this. But, of course, Pedro Pascal steals more than his fair share of scenes, and even if you don’t like Nick Cage, I think you will find Pedro Pascal and Tiffany Haddish uproariously funny. Both are incredibly funny. The comedy makes this film so much fun, and even when it’s over the top, that just makes it even more insanely funny.
Rating: 4 out of 5 movie references.
Official Website: Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent | Official Website | April 22 2022
The Bad Guys
Nicolas Cage stars as… Nick Cage in the action-comedy THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT. Creatively unfulfilled and facing financial ruin, the fictionalized version of Cage must accept a $1 million offer to attend the birthday of a dangerous superfan (Pedro Pascal). Things take a wildly unexpected turn when Cage is recruited by a CIA operative (Tiffany Haddish) and forced to live up to his own legend, channeling his most iconic and beloved on-screen characters in order to save himself and his loved ones. With a career built for this very moment, the seminal award-winning actor must take on the role of a lifetime: Nick Cage. THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT opens in theaters Friday, April 22, 2022.
ONE-LINER: A cash-strapped Nicolas Cage agrees to make a paid appearance at a billionaire super fan’s birthday party, but is really an informant for the CIA since the billionaire fan is a drug kingpin and gets cast in a Tarantino movie.