“This is why I must trust my shamanic instincts as a thespian.” –Nick Cage
Nicolas Cage tackles all the memes playing a slightly(?) exaggerated version of himself for the ironically(?) titled ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent‘. A charming, irreverent conceptual piece that, for better or worse, quickly dissolves into a by-the-numbers action comedy.
‘Unbearable Weight‘ attempts an artistic, self-aware exploration of fame and being famous in the 21st Century. And Cage is more than up for the experiment. Tackling his irresponsible spending, his reputation for accepting every script that comes along, and his chaotic personal life.
Is any of it revelatory, a la ‘JVCD’? There’s just enough “truth” poking out that some of what’s on screen must hit close. However, the story’s outlandish plot and cliché riddled characters tend to reinforce that this is more self-parody than soul seeking. It is a Nic Cage film, after all.
Losing out on a dream part forces Cage to take a million dollar offer from a Spanish “businessman” to attend a private party–no dick sucking required?! It turns out this playboy (an exuberant Pedro Pascal) is a Nicolas Cage superfan. He’s also a person of interest for the CIA with an agent (Tiffany Haddish) looking to utilize Cage as “inside man”. Sound like a Cage film, yet?
Filmmakers Tom Gormican and Kevin Etten clearly adore Cage’s filmography. The references go outlandish and deep; even casual fans should have no problems finding something to smile about. While diehards get a smorgasbord of Cage-isms unmatched outside of a Nicolas Cage museum…and there is one of those here, as well.
Notably there are a few German Expressionist styled inner duologues showing the older, burned out Cage battling his young, cocky self. These artful detours easily outperform the remaining on-the-rails plotting, but, whatcha gonna to do?
Pascal and Cage’s guileless bromance shines whenever they’re together. Unfortunately, the CIA subplot and Cage’s on-screen family drama fall flat. At least, Sharon Horgan, as Cage’s long suffering ex, gets off some “so true it hurts” commentary against
Nic’s Nick’s man-child antics.
Being meta is the “new” thing in Hollywood. Sometimes it’s inciteful satire. Mostly it’s just plain pretentious. 2022’s ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent‘ is a bit of both. There’s little depth plowed, but, it exists as a quirky, silly romp into self-parody with another over the top Nicolas Cage performance. And who’s going to argue against that. Recommended.