Cage actually plays a character named Nick Cage, but the clips from his film, deliberately sprinkled through, remove any doubt as to who this should be, even though he plays (hopefully) an exaggerated version of himself.
The film is directed and co-written by Tom Gormican (who has another feature in his honor), and the film demands that Cage be an extremely good sport, introducing him as an almost washed-up star who lacks what he keeps going to describe as the possible role of a lifetime. His ex-wife (Sharon Horgan) and teenage daughter (Lily Sheen) both make a lot of eye rolls around him and talk to the little things of the past thanks to his acting self-preoccupation.
Cage thus gets a chance to live out the spy-like roles he has played in earnest, a scenario he approaches with methodologies and not small amounts of horror. The undercover work is further complicated by the fact that he ties in with Javi and shares not only a love for movies (and not him by the way), but similar tastes that Javi brings to his dream of working with Cage, which triggers funny debates about , whether there is still room to develop a true character-driven drama.
As for Cage, his full appearance (literally given the amount of screaming he does) hysterically embraces a picture of celebrity narcissism, best exemplified by his stunned reaction when he sees Javi’s life-size replica of him, right before he offers to buy it.
Like the title, “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” gets a little too much of a good thing, but by then it has accumulated enough goodwill to close the deal. And while there may be limited theatrical appetite these days for the character-driven film that Nick and Javi long to make, there should be room for this.
“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” premieres on April 22 in US theaters. It is rated to R.