The Stream: A formulaic plot and not as funny as it could be.
The Big Screen: Nicolas Cage and Pedro Pascal give it their all.
The Final Bill: Better for the Nicolas Cage fans than for anyone else.– Trip Fontaine
Director: Tom Gormican
Writers: Tom Gormican and Kevin Etten
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Pedro Pascal, Tiffany Haddish
Genre: Action, Comedy
Rating: R for language throughout, some sexual references, drug use and violence.
Runtime: 1 hour 38 minutes
Production Companies: Lionsgate, Saturn Films
Platform: In theaters April 22, 2022
What’s up, Streamers? The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent released in theaters this weekend. It is a movie that trades on the outsized and outrageous persona of Nicolas Cage as much of its hook. Nicolas Cage is a special breed of movie star. He’s had a prestigious career and he’s made a lot of interesting choices – from Leaving Las Vegas and Moonstruck to Con Air, Ghost Rider and National Treasure. Nicolas Cage always gives all of himself to his roles for better, or for worse. This movie has some meta-commentary of the stardom of Nicolas Cage surrounded by an action comedy. Here’s how it went.
In Massive Talent, Nicolas Cage plays a fictionalized version of himself called Nick Cage. Nick is a formerly successful actor, who desperately trying to hold on to his stardom. However, the most lucrative deal he can get is making an appearance for $1 million at a super fan’s birthday party in Spain. As these things go, the super fan is connected to a drug cartel and the CIA is watching this guy. Nick Cage gets recruited to infiltrate the compound and find the president of Spain’s kidnapped daughter. Nicolas Cage overacting and hijinks ensue.
This movie is pretty simple. The plot is fairly formulaic and obvious from the beginning. It definitely could be funnier. In fact, the funniest moment in the movie is already spoiled by the trailer. The reason anyone sees this movie is not for what happens but for who’s in it. Therefore, if you are not intrigued by the Nicolas-Cage-of-it-all, then there isn’t much else about the movie that will hook you. Most of the jokes, at Cage’s expense, have already been done before (ex. Andy Samberg as Nicolas Cage on SNL) – the only difference is that Cage is actively involved. It’s not really that sharp, or clever.
I will say that Nicolas Cages is totally committed to his part. He’s giving everything, and there are some chuckles because of his delivery. Cage is a special movie presence and so it makes sense that a movie would be made surrounding his persona. Pedro Pascal plays the super fan, who invited Cage to his party. Pascal is really funny. He’s the most memorable part of the whole thing. He definitely should get to play these zany parts more. On a side note: Tiffany Haddish is completely wasted in her role. I have no idea why she is even in this movie.
Ultimately, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is fine. It has its moments, but they are few and far between. Nicolas Cage and Pedro Pascal work well together, but the plot of the movie is nothing special. If you are a true Nic Cage fan, then you’ll probably dig all of the inside jokes and references to his filmography. If you are not such a fan, then this movie will probably be pretty forgettable to you. For the Cage fans, grab a big box of popcorn and don’t miss a chance to see your favorite guy be in on the joke. For the rest of you, this is fine for an afternoon on the couch with a handful of popcorn.