The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (Review): Smart And Fun

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is somehow a satire and a celebration of Nicolas Cage’s career. And I loved it. Read on for my thoughts…

Nicolas Cage plays… himself– well, a fictionalized version of himself: a broke, struggling actor, going through a divorce, with a distant teenage daughter. But he gets a chance to turn his financial situation around when he’s offered one million dollars to appear at a birthday party. Turns out his host is a ruthless crime-lord who is under investigation by the CIA. But he’s also a great guy with whom Cage takes a liking! The situation is further complicated when the CIA asks for Cage’s help to spy on his new friend. The legendary actor has starred in some crazy movies, but how will he perform under real pressure?

A memorable episode of Community asked whether Nicolas Cage was “good” or “bad”. Seemed a simple enough question on the surface. But the analysis of said question broke one of the main characters. Because Nicolas Cage is so unique amongst actors that his technique is its own art-form! Maybe you think he overacts, or goes too out there. But be honest with yourself: few performers are so consistently entertaining, no matter the project. I always know that, no matter how good or bad a movie is, Nick Cage is worth watching in it.

I don’t know what Nicolas Cage’s personality is really like. But The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent plays up the Nick Cage persona people seem to think he’s like. I believe there’s a healthy dose of truth in there as well. If only that he’s a somewhat eccentric guy with a passion for the craft of acting, and the art of cinema.

If you’re a fan of Cage’s work and career, this film is an absolute must watch for you! For everyone else though? The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent has a little something for everybody: action, romance, character drama, meta commentary, clever writing– and all in a fun package under two hours long!

Progressively escalated stakes throughout the adventure ensured my enjoyment never waned. The situation only grew more dramatic, funny, and action-packed. And that was amusing because the film, at first, seemed to be a tame drama about Nick Cage at this phase of his career. The fact that it ends in gun-play and car chases is part of the film’s commentary on Hollywood film-making. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent effectively argues modern movie-going audiences are hard to entice with any movie not connected to big IPs.

They got me there. Everything which sold me on this movie in marketing was specifically called out in the movie itself as a cheap ploy to get people into theatres. That was a brilliant play and gave me a great laugh. Not to say The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent fails to deliver on its promises, because it does not. You get everything you expect. Only you’re tricked into watching an original smart comedy as well.

Speaking of: I did not expect this film to be so funny! I only saw one trailer for this picture months ago, and didn’t remember much of anything from it. In any case: The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is well-written. Most of its jokes landed, even if they didn’t make me laugh out loud.

Nicolas Cage and Pedro Pascal in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
by Lionsgate

The part that got me hardest was when Cage and Javi sang the praises of one of the most underrated movies ever made. It’s both funny in context, and because I have a personal connection to that movie. My brother has practically made it his life’s mission to bring awareness to the film, since it first opened. He’s obsessed. So I’m sure he’ll feel validated when he finally sees UWoMT.

The film’s funniest sequence featured a drug-induced meta breakdown of the movie itself, with a healthy dose of foreshadowing. It was goofy in the best way. And it served as a surprisingly charming bonding experience for Cage and Javi. Speaking of:

Nicolas Cage and Javi’s relationship is the heart of this movie! Yeah, Nick Cage gets some good moments with his fictional wife and daughter. But nothing shines so bright as the bromance between Cage and Pascal. I would never have suspected those two men of having such delightful chemistry. But they’re one of my favourite comedic duos I’ve seen in YEARS. I hope they work together more in the future.

I doubt it’s easy to keep up with an actor of Nick Cage’s caliber, especially when he’s going all out. Yet Pedro Pascal nearly steals some scenes from Cage! He’s effortlessly charming, and his earnestness is endearing. And you somehow find yourself rooting for him even though he’s the film’s “villain”. That said: Javi has multiple moments where he effectively intimidates. Pedro Pascal found a beautiful balance to this character’s personality!

The action sequences were solid all around. I’d rate them above average. Personally the characters’ interactions during these moments kept me more invested than the violence itself. The stand-out set-piece, however, was the car chase through the city.

My only real criticism of The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is that it got a bit too unbelievably crazy towards the end. Once again, I understand that this was an intentional choice. But said choice does take you out of the film to consciously contemplate its absurdity.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is the perfect blend of two film elements I don’t see often enough: cleverness and fun. I didn’t have to turn off my brain yet it didn’t make me think too hard. Pascal and Cage are a great pair of actors who create multiple memorable moments together. And, if you’re already a fan of Cage, you’re bound to enjoy all the references to his career.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is one of the best movies I’ve seen in 2022, and a Must See.

What’s the craziest Nick Cage moment from a film? What did you think of The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent? Please share your thoughts in the comments (no spoilers please). If you have any ideas for future articles, or any questions, let me know. Also be sure to Like this article on Facebook and share if you enjoyed!

Till next time,

Joe Morin

By Joseph Morin

Joe's passion for film and entertainment began at 7 years old when his younger brother demanded to watch Duel of the Fates every day for weeks (on DVD). Joe admired the sequence so much, he decided to dedicate his life to film-making and storytelling. He has a degree in Cinema and Media Studies from York University. Joe loves DC superheroes (especially Superman), the first six Star Wars movies, and arguing about media with anyone who will listen.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *