Synopsis: The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022) is the latest offering from the legendary Nicholas Cage. The actor plays himself. After accruing sizable debts, he soon finds himself turning to offers outside of acting to try and make some money again . . .
Like so many great stories, there are certainly parts of this story that are autobiographical. Nicholas Cage did indeed find himself in debt, heavily so. However, what happens in the film certainly didn’t happen to him! The fictionalised version of Cage in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent visits a superfan in Majorca, for $1 million dollars. This Nicholas Cage needs the money. But things take a turn, when Cage and Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal) form an unlikely bond. Things are further complicated when Cage discovers Javi (Pedro Pascal) is in fact a wanted man by the CIA, as he’s a ruthless international crime lord. Things really get going at this point.
As he arrives in Majorca, Cage is approached by CIA agent, Vivian (Tiffany Haddish). She recruits Cage to spy on Javi. Furthermore, Cage is told Javi has kidnapped the daughter of an influential politician. Cage has his doubts. What ensues is an exploration of the two men’s characters. It makes for a fun and clever meta narrative, that frames the action. We see a very clever, amusing plot playing out.
Of course, Nicolas Cage is the star of the show. We don’t just see a total caricature of him, done by him. There are some truluy touching scenes, too, performed wonderfully by Cage. We’re reminded that super-high profile actors are people too, with lives and love dones. But there’s also some typical outlandish ones, too. It’s Pedro Pascal though, and his considerable skills that truly bring out Cage’s character. The two have an amazing chemistry, and we’re reminded of the importance of human connection and of friendships.
The support cast does a great job, in this movie, too. Sharon Hogan gives a realistic portrayal of an understandably disgruntled ex-partner, whilst Lily Mo Sheen does the distant daughter superbly. And Paco Leon gives a performance worthy of high praise, too.
CGI & Action
The only CGI of the film is the digitally younger version of Cage, “Nicky Cage”. This works wonderfully and is a very important aspect of the film. It’s great to see this groundbreaking new technique being used to such powerful effect. The psychological aspect of this was superb. This meant the characterisation of Cage was able to develop fully. As for the action of the film, that was well choreographed, and worked well. The gun fights and the chase scenes appeared realistic, as opposed to those in a typical Cage Hollywood production.
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is a clever film. The meta-narrative really worked, because it was extremely well planned. For example, it was understood this couldn’t be a solely action film. Furthermore, this aspect was actually identified and explored as crucial, during the film. Javi states exactly that, to Nicolas Cage. Without this driving force, the film would have no emotional impact. Fortunately, it did. There are plenty of fun bits to this film, but also some great dramatic bits, too. It gives a glimpse into the real lives of those we tend to dehumanise, because of their vast wealth and success. Also, Nicolas Cage again proves he’s a true living legend!
- CGI & Effects10
- Incidental Music8.5