Brush up on your Nicolas Cage knowledge before you buckle in for this roller coaster ride of name-dropping, double-dealing, doppelgänger loaded hilarity that half-way through becomes a buddy action flick. There’s not one Nicolas Cage, but at least two if you don’t include the grotesque gun-toting mannequin.
Written by the supervising producer of the TV series “Scrubs” who also wrote two episodes of that bromance medical comedy, Kevin Etten, with director Tom Gormican, this is a lightweight comedy that stars Nicolas Cage as a fictionalized version of himself, Nick Cage, who sometimes has conversations a younger “Wild at Heart” version of himself, Nicky Cage (Nicholas Kim Coppola).
In the film, Cage is going through a drought period. He has bills to pay and he’s living at an expensive Hollywood hotel. He’s divorced from Olivia Henson (Sharon Horgan) and trying to impress his daughter Addy (Lily Sheen). His agent, Richard Fink (Neil Patrick Harris) brings him an offer for an easy million: Attend the birthday of a billionaire super fan. The problem is: This fan, Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal) is under investigation by the CIA.
CIA agent Vivian (Tiffany Haddish) pretends to be a super fan in order to get close to Nick, but later ropes Nick Cage into the investigation with her less than enthusiastic partner Martin (Ike Barinholtz). Javi’s protective cousin, Lucas (Paco León) gets suspicious, and, as it turns out, Nick Cage isn’t as good as Nicholas Cage is in action hero movie mode. There’s physical comedy and a twist that will bring us to a happy ending and, surprisingly, “Paddington 2.”
The film doesn’t go into the real weirdness that is Nicolas Cage in real life, who won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of an alcoholic loser on his last binge, the 1995 “Leaving Las Vegas,” and impersonated one of his heroes–Elvis Presley–in the 1990 “Wild at Heart” and then married Presley’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, in 2002 only to file for divorce a little over 100 days later. That was his second marriage. The divorce was finalized in 2004, the same year he married his third wife with whom he had a son that he named Kai-El; that’s a DC Superman reference. He is currently on his fifth marriage.
Thinking about this film, I have to wonder just how the conversations between Cage and his director Gormican, and I hope they were funny and recorded and become part of the special features of the DVD/Blu-ray release.
“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” is a bromance between a fictional Nicolas Cage and Pascal’s Javi. It’s weird; it’s wonderful and it’s whimsically lightweight. But some times one needs an action film that lighter than a feather or lots of feathers floating after a goose down pillow fight. Etten and Gormican both worked on “Ghosted” together and one hopes they have more than this affectionate send-up in them. I look forward to more fun, with or without the meta framework.
“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” was released on 22 April 2022 in the US. It premiered at South by Southwest on 12 March 2022.