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The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

Directed by Tom Gormican

Fed up with his failing career, movie star Nick Cage decides to take on an unusual request – fly to Mallorca to attend the birthday of a millionaire superfan named Javi (Pedro Pascal). Javi is disappointed to hear that Cage has decided to retire from acting and hasn’t read his script but having found his host to be quite welcoming, Cage has a change of heart and the two become inseparable buddies. As their bromance blooms, a spanner is thrown in the works when the CIA contact Cage to alert him that Javi is in fact the head of a sinister drugs cartel that is behind the recent kidnapping of an official’s daughter. Coerced into working for the CIA in order to find the kidnapped girl on Javi’s compound, Cage must toe the line between keeping up appearances with his newfound friend and trying to save the life of a young woman. However, the whole plan is thrown into jeopardy when Javi invites Cage’s teenage daughter Addy (Lily Mo Sheen) and his ex-wife (Sharon Horgan) over to his tropical headquarters. With the stakes upped, Cage has more to lose than ever before.

When you have the chance for an actor to play a parody of themselves, then there’s very few actors who spring to mind. Jean-Claude Van Damme starred as a fictional version of himself in the ribtickling Jean-Claude Van Johnson and in THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT we see the zaniest man in cinema, Nicolas Cage, follows in his footsteps but does the film deliver on what it promises?

Though it seems Cage was made for this role and does look like he’s having a whale of a time with co-star Pedro Pascal, THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT struggles to make much of an impression. Though meant to be a comedy, it hardly gets out of first gear and the laughs seem to be borne from the acid-induced paranoia of Cage and Javi and their concepts for their film together rather than creating something genuinely amusing.

The introduction of the CIA feels at odds with the heart of the movie and I’d have rather have seen the duo get into trouble from the authorities thanks to their outrageous hijinks rather than have Javi painted as a villain he so obviously isn’t. The more it tries to push that angle, the dafter the film goes but it still feels as though something substantial is lacking.

In a particular scene of the movie, we see Cage don make up and prosthetics to pose as a gang leader and it’s here where I think I genuinely laughed out loud for the first time in the film. Craziness is what we expect for a Nicolas Cage film but it feels in rather short supply. It’s towards the end of the movie when it starts to dip its toe into these waters which feels a little too late, resulting in a mediocre effort with a not too dissimilar ending. The events leading up to the latter third of the film are too tame with the exotic beauty of the location of the movie often captivating more than the story.

THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT feels too much of a love-in and has very little to offer besides. Even the introduction of a younger version of Cage, complete with leather jacket and curtain fringe, that gives current Cage pep talks and peck-talks, is just too weird to even comprehend and is frighteningly creepy more than it’s humorous. Even a nod to The Wicker Man bees and Cage’s other movies fail to provide the goods.

For a film meant to embrace the craziness of Cage, I expected this movie to be outrageous as the man himself can be but it often feels like a missed opportunity. I just hope the stars had as much fun as they looked to have making it, but unfortunately anyone looking for a hit of comedy may need to look elsewhere to get their laughs.

Rating: ★★★★★½☆☆☆☆

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is on digital 8th July & Steelbook, 4K UHD, Blu-ray & DVD 11th July 2022

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About Bat 4344 Articles
I love practical effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt, Yakuza Zero and Mafia III.

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