Review of ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’: Nicolas Cage and Pedro Pascal show off their silly pages

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.

As for other cinematic rehearsals, Cage more than once states or is told that he is a movie star, not an actor, repeating Peter O’Toole’s swollen star in “My Favorite Year,” which certainly qualifies as good company, though the film does not. t scale these heights.

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.

Since he lives in a hotel and needs cash, Cage reluctantly agrees to attend a rich superfans birthday party in Spain for a big payout, despite being miserable at the prospect. But said fan, Javi (Pascal), brings plenty of baggage to the situation as the well-known leader of a crime cartel, with a few U.S. government agents (Tiffany Haddish and Ike Barinholtz, both underemployed) on his tail.
Nicolas Cage and Pedro Pascal in 'The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.'

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.

What really makes the film work is the interplay between the main characters balancing their macho positions, respective needs, and the unlikely friendship that emerges from that mix. Pascal also gets to show a lighter side, which he recently exhibited with less successful effect in Netflix’s “The Bubble” (a much worse movie), creating a desire to see Mandalorian throw his tough shell more often.

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.

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