Movie Review: ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’

Nicolas Cage playing Nicolas Cage in a movie about Nicolas Cage. Let’s just say it doesn’t get more Nicolas Cage than The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent.

Looking at his immense and undeniably peculiar filmography, which includes everything from studio blockbusters to bizarre cult classics and acclaimed indie dramas, Nicolas Cage is one of few Hollywood actors (maybe ever) perfectly suited to portray himself in an over-the-top meta-comedy like The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent. Written and directed by Tom Gormican, The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent delivers everything that Nicolas Cage fans are looking for and more, offering an bizarre, hilarious and touching exploration of the Nicolas Cage persona – while also delivering what is easily one of the most entertaining and original blockbuster comedies in recent years.

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In The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent, actor Nick Cage accepts a $1 million offer to attend a wealthy fan’s birthday party. Things take a wildly unexpected turn when a CIA operative recruits Cage for an unusual mission. Taking on the role of a lifetime, he soon finds himself channeling his most iconic and beloved characters to save himself and his loved ones.

Before I delve deeper into what I believe makes The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent a must-see film in the cinemas, let’s answer the question on everyone’s mind: Do I need to be a massive Nicolas Cage fan to truly enjoy this movie? While it would undoubtedly help to have a deeper understanding of Nicolas Cage’s filmography and the persona that he presents to the world, The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent doesn’t require the audience to have a degree in Nicolas Cage to understand or enjoy any aspect of its narrative.

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What makes The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent stand-out as one of the better studio comedies, is the fact that the film is much more than your basic, surface-level comedy. Writer/director Tom Gormican has constructed an incredibly intelligent and entertaining comedy, which works on a number of levels. What on the surface looks like an over-the-top comedy featuring a Nicolas Cage caricature, actually turns out to be an outrageously funny, surprisingly touching exploration of the Nicolas Cage persona. The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent certainly won’t be for everyone, but I would certainly recommend the film to anyone looking for a a bold, hilarious and undeniably fun studio comedy.

Turning our attention towards the performances, there’s no denying that Nicolas Cage is outstanding as an over-the-top version of himself. It would be easy to say that Cage had an easy job playing himself, but the actor did an impressive job of balancing the wacky, absurd side of his public persona with the more emotional and touching elements of the narrative. All in all, this is possibly the best performance that Nicolas Cage has put out in recent years.

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It feels weird to say, but in a movie about Nicolas Cage starring Nicolas Cage, the star of the show is…Pedro Pascal. There’s something about Pascal’s performance in this film that’s simply magnetic. Every time his character leaves a scene, you’re counting the seconds and minutes until he pops back up, and the actor brings so much fun energy to the movie that it really wouldn’t be the same with someone else in that role.

The real star of the show, however, is the bromance that forms between Pascal and Cage. This really is one of the best bromances that Hollywood has ever gifted us, and the chemistry between Cage and Pascal is off the charts. I would even go as far as to say that The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent is at its best not in the larger moments of the narrative, but in the smaller moments where these two characters are just talking about movies or life. I would happily watch an entire miniseries of these guys geeking-out about cinema and, of course, the work of art that is Paddington 2.

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As for the rest of the cast, supporting players such as Tiffany Haddish and Sharon Horgan bring some great humour to the film, but we don’t spend enough time with anyone outside of Nic Cage and Pedro Pascal for them to truly leave their mark on the movie.

Overall, The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent is one of the smartest, funniest and most creative studio comedies we’ve seen in years! Everything from the bonkers story to the scene-stealing performances will have you walking out of the cinema with a massive grin.

RATING: 4.5/5

ABOUT THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT

Directed By: Tom Gormican

Cast: Nicolas Cage, Pedro Pascal, Tiffany Haddish, Sharon Horgan, Lily Mo Sheen, Ike Barinholtz, Alessandra Mastronardi, Neil Patrick Harris

Plot: Unfulfilled and facing financial ruin, actor Nick Cage accepts a $1 million offer to attend a wealthy fan’s birthday party. Things take a wildly unexpected turn when a CIA operative recruits Cage for an unusual mission. Taking on the role of a lifetime, he soon finds himself channeling his most iconic and beloved characters to save himself and his loved ones.

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