The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent Review
In The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, Nicolas Cage plays a fictionalized version of himself who has become so frustrated with his career that he decides he has no other choice but to retire. Drowning in debts, Cage's agent offers him a high-paying gig to appear at the birthday of a wealthy superfan. The two become instant best friends, but things get complicated when the CIA intercepts Cage to let him know that his new bestie is actually a dangerous warlord and that they need his help to bring him down. When I first heard this movie was being made, I chuckled with delight and hoped this movie could be as good as its concept. After several years of duds, Nicolas Cage is finally at a career renaissance where he seems to be taking on far more interesting projects. Thankfully my hopes were realized as Massive Talent is an absolute riot.
I knew in order for this movie to really work, Cage would have to have a sense of humor in playing himself. Not only is he totally okay with not taking himself too seriously, but he's also incredibly hilarious in his portrayal of his fictional self. The other reason Massive Talent works as well as it does is due to Pedro Pascal's goofy performance and the fantastic buddy chemistry he and Cage share. This movie has no business being as funny as it is, but their camaraderie makes it all seem so effortless.
There's definitely a degree of meta-ness to it all with Cage playing himself and the continual discussion of his filmography and the art of film in general. But it's always done in a way that feels like a wink to the audience, director Tom Gormican somehow manages not to overdo it. Though the characters are constantly telling us indirectly where the movie is headed, it's all done in such jest that you can't help but laugh along the way. My only complaint is that the final act feels a little bit sloppier than what came before it, and as a result, the ending feels a bit rushed.
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is a hilarious buddy action comedy that made me laugh as hard as I have in ages. Pedro Pascal and Nicolas Cage are an unexpectedly perfect comedic match made in heaven. While a few tweaks to the script could have made it an all-time great, it's still one of the best comedies I've seen in some time.