The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent -SXSW Review

March 6, 202270/1006 min
Nicolas Cage, Pedro Pascal, Tiffany Haddish
Written by
Kevin Etten and Tom Gormican
Directed by
Tom Gormican
Run Time
Release Date
April 22nd, 2022
Overall Score
Rating Summary

Depending on where you fall in your fandom of Nicolas Cage, a movie in which he plays himself either sounds like a horrible idea or the best thing ever. I for sure fall in with the latter group as I like my Nic Cage at an 11 on the intensity level. So the thought of him diving into the role of him sounds amazing. Cage is one of the most iconic movie stars working today as few actors run the gamut like he does with his choice of roles, and in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent  he gets to run with them all.

I am sure most have heard about how Cage spends the money he makes quickly, which some say is why he does as many movies as he does. Playing off that, Cage is trying to get what he sees as the role of a lifetime and is sure it will be the one that brings him back into the spotlight, even though he was never really gone. When he doesn’t get the role and is locked out of his hotel room since he hasn’t paid the bill, he accepts a private party invitation that will pay him a million dollars to attend. Neither Cage, nor his agent (Neil Patrick Harris) knows what the guy wants, but hey when you need the money, you do what you gotta to do. Cage travels to Spain where he meets Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal), who might be his biggest fan and he just wants to hang out with him for the weekend. Things get a little complicated though when Cage runs into Vivan ( Tiffany Haddish), a C.I.A. agent who is investigating Javi and thinks he might be involved in a kidnapping the daughter of a foreign president. Cage at first doesn’t believe Vivan, as Javi is way too nice of a guy to be involved in anything like that, but after some arm twisting, agrees to help. Written by Kevin Etten and Tom Gormican, the latter also directing, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent was written without consulting Cage at first, setting up an awkward moment if he had said no. Luckily for all of us, he was open to the idea and Cage looks to be playing a version of himself that is maybe a little too real and what some might speculate is really the way Nic Cage is. That doesn’t really matter though as Cage fans will walk out very satisfied with his portrayal of himself.

This is not some cheap fanservice and while there are plenty of references to a lot of Cage’s past roles, this Nicolas Cage has defined characteristics that are shaped by the actors passions. Cage is not the only reason the movie works, as he and Pascal have great chemistry and when you learn that Pascal is a big fan of Cage’s work, he too just fits like a glove into his role. While there are some dramatic moments, make no mistake that this movie has its root’s as a lighthearted comedy. I walked away very satisfied and judging from the screening I was at, so did the other fans of Cage who were in attendance. For me I got a movie that was a feel for who I think Nicolas Cage is and while I know he is much more than that, for this purpose I’d like to thank Nicolas Cage for being the massive talent that he is.

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