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The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent - Movie Review

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

In a role he was… ahem, born to play, Nicolas Cage plays Nick Cage in Tom Gormican and Kevin Etten’s The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, the pair’s earnest love letter to who else but… Nicolas Cage.

The infectiously iconic star of such avant-garde films as Mandy and Wild At Heart, comedies like The Family Man, and even tentpole franchises such as Face/Off and Con Air has shown that the Oscar-winning actor is genre proof and perfectly comfortable in any given film category. That extreme versatility and willingness to embrace any given role has carried over to popular culture and propelled the actor into internet stardom with a complete treasure trove of memes, several of which were some of the earliest on the internet.

"a hilarious celebration all things Nicolas Cage. Come join the celebration"


That massive appeal and vigilant self-awareness is a large part of what makes The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent so much fun. Well, that and that fact that it stars NICK FUUUUUUUUKKKKKKIN’ CAGE!

Currently struggling to land any film roles and facing financial ruin, Nick (Cage) informs his agent (Neil Patrick Harris) that he has decided to retire from acting. Adding to his woes is the fact that ex-wife, Olivia (Sharon Horgan) wishes he would be more involved with their teenage daughter Addy (Lily Sheen).

At wits end, Nick reluctantly accepts a $1 million offer to attend the birthday party of a wealthy fan, Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal, The Mandalorian) on the Spanish island of Mallorca. Easy money, right? Well, complications arise when a CIA operative (Tiffany Haddish) recruits the skeptical Nick to spy on Javi, believed to be a villainous international arms dealer who has kidnapped the daughter of a local Spanish politician. Nick and Javi strike it off quite well and find an instant connection via their love of films.

Here’s where things get fun. As the two have a continuing conversation about their favorite films including The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and even Paddington 2, The Unbearable Weight makes a run of references through Cage’s filmography including Face/Off, National Treasure, Guarding Tess and others. Even his voice role in Croods 2 is played for laughs more than once. Fans of Cage films are rewarded over and over with all the little tips and nods to his previous films.The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

As a cover to keep himself on the island to further the government’s investigation, Nick concocts the idea for the two film lovers to write a movie script together. The remainder of the film’s ridiculously self-aware plot plays out in three part structure as it morphs from broad comedy, to charming bromance, before finally exploding into a full-on actioner. Javi delivers one particularly clever line as the two become involved in a car chase. Nick’s reluctance to drive is quickly challenged when Javi reminds Nick that he did his own driving stunts in Gone in 60 Seconds. He knows because of the film’s making-of featurettes.

Of course, none of this would work were the real Cage to not fully commit to the leap of faith brought to him by Gormican and Etten. He does. His performance runs somewhere between parody and reflection, as the audience recalls the real Cage’s financial troubles earlier in his career.

The film’s real ace in the hole however, is the level of charm and charisma shared by Cage and Pascal. They are truly wonderful together.

Pascal’s Javi represents our fanboy love for Nicolas Cage, and despite the fact that he is an international bad guy, we genuinely care for his well-being. Same goes for Cage’s Nick. In a ridiculously neurotic high concept film such as this, their’s is a difficult relationship to pull off. One that can’t be faked. Fortunately, we buy it hook, line, and sinker. As a result The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is a hilarious celebration all things Nicolas Cage. Come join the celebration.

4/5 stars

Film Details

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

MPAA Rating: R for language throughout, some sexual references, drug use and violence.
107 mins
: Tom Gormican
Tom Gormican; Kevin Etten
Nicolas Cage; Pedro Pascal; Tiffany Haddish
: Comedy | Action

Memorable Movie Quote: "Look, if Javi wants me to fuck his wife or watch me watch him fuck his wife, that's a no-go. Do you understand? Es no bueno."
Theatrical Distributor:
Official Site:
Release Date:
April 22, 2022
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:

Synopsis: In this action-packed comedy, Nicolas Cage plays Nick Cage, channeling his iconic characters as he's caught between a superfan and a CIA agent.


The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent


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