Thursday, April 28, 2022

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent - Movie Review

The Movie: The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

The Director: Tom Gormican

The Cast: Nicolas Cage, Tiffany Haddish, Pedro Pascal, Sharon Horgan, Lily Mo Sheen, Neil Patrick Harris

The Story: A cash-strapped Nicolas Cage agrees to make a paid appearance at a billionaire super fan's birthday party, but is really an informant for the CIA since the billionaire fan is a drug kingpin and gets cast in a Tarantino movie.

The Review:
Nicolas Cage plays himself in this action comedy movie. That's really all I should have to say for you to want to see it but I suppose I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't type out a complete review. Going in, I wasn't quite sure what to expect, I mean Cage has done just about every type of movie you can think of from blockbuster smash hits to straight to video duds so the possibility is nearly endless here. To make matters even more interesting is that writer/director Tom Gormican's only other feature film was That Awkward Moment which came out eight years ago and, looking back at my review, it was not a very good movie.

Whatever path there was that led Gormican and Cage to making this movie, I'm very glad it was traveled because the end result is one of the most entertaining and satisfying movies I have watched this year. The whole meta aspect of the story, Cage playing himself in a reality that's not quite his real life yet also kind of is, works in just about every way which for me was the biggest and most pleasant surprise. It's best that you look at this story as the silly action romp that it is and not worry about plot details, nuanced storytelling, or any of the type of detailed analysis, this is just about having fun with and because of Nicolas Cage.

I saw someone ask the question, do you need to know Cage's movies to understand this one and I will say no you do not although I imagine the more of a fan you are, you may catch more inside jokes and subtleties. I don't believe anyone should feel like they are missing out on anything if they are not well versed in Cage's movies, memes, or pop culture references. Cage himself, maybe in character or maybe also in real life, seems oblivious to all of that anyway and yet also keenly self aware of the status he has achieved over the course of his career if that makes sense. It seems like he also just showed up for this movie to have a great time and that absolutely comes across on screen.

Okay, I have to talk about Pedro Pascal for a moment. Most may know him primarily is The Mandalorian on the Disney Plus Star Wars series although he has had an impressive career over the years appearing in TV shows and movies since the late 90's. His performance in this film, and every aspect of how he presents his character, is absolutely brilliant and so much fun to watch which may be a bit of a surprise for casual viewers. Pascal does a fantastic job of playing off of the "is he good or bad" angle of the story and the budding friendship between his character, he doesn't play himself, is definitely a highlight of the movie.

The Verdict:
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is exactly the meta filled action comedy movie you expect it to be. Cage is in top form playing himself and everyone in the movie seems like they are having a great time which makes the whole experience that much more enjoyable.

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