Nicolas Cage: icon and movie hero, a legend who “is back” with the hilarious new film “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.” He stars as himself, but an exaggerated (maybe?) version who has money issues, family troubles, and a consuming desire to work, work, work. Dejected from a role rejection and now, in an effort to pay off a $600k hotel bill — his home after divorcing his wife Olivia (Sharon Horgan)—his agent, Richard (Neil Patrick Harris) gets him a birthday party gig which pays $1M. Reluctantly accepting, Nick flies to Mallorca, Spain, meeting his birthday boy, Javi (Pedro Pascal) whose ties with the mob land him in a role he’s never played before…CIA agent who must fight for his life and his family’s.
Let me start by saying you have to be a Nicolas Cage and film fan to truly appreciate every hilariously nuanced line and situation in “Massive Talent.” But if you are, you’re in for a cinematically thrilling roller coaster ride filled with shock, laughter, and intrigue! There are so many layers — and themes to appeal to every movie goer — that it is impossible to dissect them all, but I’ll give it a try so you’re compelled to head to the ticket box and see this on the big screen.
Cage (the character) needs to work and is always looking for the next role of a lifetime even at the expense of his marriage and his relationship with his daughter, Addy (Lily Mo Sheen). As opportunities dwindle and his life seems to parallel his current career, Cage accepts a “role” in going to a millionaire’s birthday party in Spain. Javi, a screenwriter wannabe, corners Cage but not before the CIA plants a tracker on him and convinces him that Javi is one of the really bad guys responsible for a high profile kidnapping of a dictator’s daughter. Taking on this new “role” as CIA operative, he gets to know Javi as the two become screenwriting partners. Their “process” to augment their “craft” creates a hilarious journey which ultimately becomes a bromance…that is until they both come to a crossroads that will bury them or make them heroes.
“Massive Talent” is brilliantly creative in finding ways to showcase Cage’s cinematic career as well as highlight his perceived real life pitfalls. And Cage (the actor) rolls with every punch, pouring earnestly into this role to make us not only laugh, but connect with this man whose talents until recently with “Pig,” have been sorely overlooked. The role is a self-deprecating one in many ways, but Cage leans into it with ease to give us one of the funniest and highly energetic films I’ve seen since “Knives Out.”
Cage isn’t the only one who is having fun (at his own expense?). Tiffany Haddish and Ike Barinholtz pair up once again, this time as the CIA operatives who set up several of the comedic situations that both Cage and Pascal handedly utilize. And Horgan, known for her comedy, shows us that she can do an action flick as the stereotypical ex-wife of an actor whose fed up with her ex’s antics. The entire cast has fun and delivers a stellar performance and when the cast is having fun, we are, too.
Tom Gormican, the co-writer and director and relative newcomer to the writing and directing arena, is skilled beyond his years. Every line, every movement, and every interaction is impeccably delivered to give us total entertainment. And with the massive talent within this film, we ultimately have a dramatic, comedic, thrilling, bromance like no other before it.
See “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” on the big screen…put down your phones, block out life’s distractions, and be immersed in the world of Nicolas Cage for a couple of hours. It’s worth it!
3 1/2 Stars