We certainly have no shortage of films that skewer the pomposity of Hollywood and its stars but director Tom Gormican’s The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is a treat on even more levels.
Starring Nicolas Cage as Nicolas Cage, the film sees Cage pile all his hopes on a big new project only for them to be dashed. Feeling down about his fading Hollywood star, he accepts a $1 million job to appear at a super rich fan’s birthday party, but in this fan Javi (Pedro Pascal) he finds inspiration…until the CIA tell him all is not as it appears! Don’t you just hate when that happens?
This is a film that will find a devoted fanbase. Deconstructing the filmmaking and writing process, this meta action/comedy is filled with loving references to Cage's wild career and life. At times feeling like Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa meets Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, with Tropic Thunder mixed in, it’s a fun and novel twist on the buddy action movie, that is constantly referential and filled with a witty, bordering on obsessive, love for cinema and all things Cage.
The third act may not be quite as masterful as the previous two (even though the film acknowledges the “mainstream hook”) and it could go crazier (as bonkers as the film still is - with Cage also playing his Wogan show inspired Wild at Heart ego-driven conscience) but it’s a helluva good time, and begs for revisitation.
Cage is superb as a more exaggerated (well, maybe) version of his walking meme self. But it's his chemistry with the sublime Pedro Pascal that is when the movie comes alive best. They are a duo to really behold in this fun Cage caper!