There isn't another actor out there working today who'd suit a film like The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent as much as Nicolas Cage does. The man has had one hell of a career full of memorable performances, both good and bad, and a string of films that have become cult classics in their own right, making Cage and his filmography ripe for picking when it comes to a meta-comedy that works as a celebration of the man himself.

The fictionalized version of Nick Cage (Nicolas Cage) must accept a $1 million offer to attend the birthday of a dangerous super fan Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal) . Things take a wildly unexpected turn when Cage is recruited by a CIA operative Vivian (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.
If you're looking for a film to entertain you with such an absurd approach to storytelling, look no further than The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, an absolute riot of a film from start to finish. Tom Gormican and Kevin Etten have cleverly written a screenplay that is utterly hilarious, weaving in reference after reference to Cage's career without it ever feeling like a novelty act. That's an impressive feat for a film like this. Watching Cage himself revel in the references to his own career is about as meta as it gets and it's enough to leave you with a smile on your face throughout. 

As funny as the film is, it dips into a bit of a lull when the CIA subplot kicks into gear. It's perfectly fine but it just takes the edge of what has been a brilliant experience up to that point. That being said, there's a fantastic moment involving Cage carrying out a covert op for the CIA and a gadget designed to incapacitate any threats that brought the house down in my screening so it's not all bad.
Coming to the performances, Nicolas Cage is in electric form as an exaggerated version of himself here, leaning into the absurdity of it all to deliver one of his best performances in recent memory. This is very much Cage's film and he owns it with aplomb. Alongside Pedro Pascal, Cage shares great chemistry to create an on-screen bromance for the ages, the pair lighting up the screen whenever they're together. Pascal has really grown a reputation over the past few years and he's just such a likable presence that matches Cage's energy perfectly here. 

As for the supporting cast, Tiffany Haddish is a welcome presence as Vivian, even if she doesn't get the biggest opportunity to show just how funny she can be. Sharon Horgan plays Olivia, Nick Cage's wife, and she provides him with a stern reminder that he is a father and shouldn't be so obsessed with himself in entertaining fashion. 

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is sure to be one of the funniest films of the year but it's also one of the best studio comedies we've had in recent memory, not such a hard task as many are pretty bad these days. It's meta done right and has an affinity to Paddington 2 so it's a way more wholesome film than you'd expect.

Verdict: ★★★★ 


Popular Posts