The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is a 2022 American comedy film directed by Tom Gormican. The film stars Nicolas Cage as a fictionalized version of himself. It also stars Pedro Pascal, Sharon Horgan, Ike Barinholtz, Alessandra Mastronardi, Jacob Scipio, Neil Patrick Harris and Tiffany Haddish.
Hollywood actor Nicolas Cage is struggling with his career after being passed over for several big movie roles and is constantly annoyed by “Nicky” who appears as his youunger and more successful self. His relationship with his ex-wife Olivia and daughter Addy is also ruined by years of emotional neglect. Following a humiliating event at Addy’s sixteenth birthday party and losing another big film role, Cage plans to retire from acting. He decides to accept a hazy offer of $1 million from his agent Richard Fink that involves going to Majorca to meet billionaire womanizer Javi Gutierrez and to be the guest of honor at his birthday.
Upon meeting Javi, Cage is at first irritated by his neediness and insistance that they create an improv type movie based on a cript he wrote, but quickly inspired by Javi’s determination, and the two bond over their shared love the same movies. Shortly after, Cage is confronted by CIA agents Vivian and Martin. They suspect that Javi, who they claim made is fortune through dealing weapons, is behind the kidnapping of Maria the daughter of an anti-crime politician, with the hope that he will drop out of the upcoming election. Despite his insistance, Cage decides to help the CIA with the case.
After successfully rigging the cameras on Javi’s compound, Cage goes to a party where he announces his work with Javi on a new movie, an excuse to stay on the compound long enough to find Maria. After a disaster involving LSD, Cage discovers that Javi has a shrine room dedicated to all his movies, including a wax figure of his character Caster Troy from his movie, Face/Off, complete with identical golden guns. Cage finds it hard to work with Javi, but Vivian convinces him to work the kidnapping into their screenplay so the he could actually reveal where Maria is.
Cage explains tells his new idea to Javi, who believes that Cage is artistically bankrupt, and like has problems he needs to work out. Javi bring Olivia and Addy to his villa from Los Angeles; they are scared and angry over what is happening. Cage tries to make amends with them, but they reject his words and accuse of prioritizining his his film career over his family. Javi sneaks away and sees his cousin Lucas, who is revealed to be the real weapons dealer and the one who kidnapped Maria. Lucas warns him that Cage is working with the CIA and threatens him to kill cage, or else Lucas will kill Javi. Cage begins to rethink his friendship with Javi.
After a stand-off between Javi and Cage, where neither can bering themselves to kill each other, Lucas sends men to after both of them, and the run back to the house and dscover that Addy has been kidnapped.
This film has laugh out loud moments throughout. There are lots of references to other Cage films, which make this pretty enjoyable, but the one downfall is all the cheesiness and unoriginl part of the plot with the kidnapping and weapon dealing, which has been done to death. The entire thing about Cage, playing himself is just plain silly, but he does a very good job at it, making the film enjoyable, but still not great. Nothing against the acting, which is very good from all the main stars, but I couldn’t get past the terrible plot, also the beautiful scenery of Majorca, only helped much either. Being a Cage fan, I wanted to like this film more, but it was so hard to get past the negative aspects and I only enjoyed the film some, but not a lot.
At a run time of nearly two hours, I could hardly wait for the film to end by about the second half it. It jumps from funny and cheesy scenes to action secens so much and so fast, it’s not as entertaining as it should be. It’s definitely not Nicolas Cage’s best or worst work and definitely won’t kill his career given the rave reviews and upcoming projects his has. This film has the Cage his fans love, which make it an pretty entertaining film, but that still doesn’t make it great.
Yes this film is laugh out lod funny at times, but it is is also overly corny. It does however have a few heartwarming scenes, that make it a good bit better. This is not a movie that has to be seen in theater, in fact, it has the feel of a straight to streaming type. Would I watch it again? Maybe if it came on TV and there was nothing else on. Sorry plot, somewhat funny, but mostly dowdy humor and lots of action. 18+ 3/5
3 thoughts on “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022)”
I like Nicholas Cage, but his film choices and seemingly accepting anything offered to make a buck, has really sunk his career. Van Damme played himself in a streaming series, always the mark of a career in free fall. I actually do hope he resurrects his career. Thanks for the review.
So true. He goes up and down with his choices. “Pig?” good. This one? not so much. Kind of like Sandra Bullock “The Blind Side” was good, “The Heat,” not really. I like when stars are pickier about their roles like Emma Watson and Tom Hanks. It shows they care about their craft more than money and value themselves more.
Nicolas Cage is a good actor, he may be crazy in real life being married like five times, but I know he can do better. I guess I just miss the old Cage, the Raising Arizona and Adaptation Cage.
I agree with you, Chloe, and Mike.
It seems Nic — like Eric Roberts — takes anything these days. Eric has said on several occasions he takes pride in traveling the country as an actor-troubadour, helping indie filmmakers get their films, marketed (and he gets to see the country, sometimes world, for free, which is nice). And it works: I’ve rented plenty of Eric’s flicks for the sake of a Roberts flick. That makes me wonder if Nic works on the same principles?
I’ll also error in my renting-streaming efforts for a Nic-fix. Yes, Nic runs hot and cold with his films. Pig? Good. Mandy? Even better. Then you get clunkers like USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage (even with Thomas Jane). Grand Isle with Kelsey Grammer is another in the “eh” pile, along with his exotic animal collector in Primal.
I don’t think we’ll ever get the Nic of Rasing Arizona and Adaptation old, back. No more than we’ll ever see King of the Gypsies/The Pope of Greenwich Village Eric, again. As you said: I miss those guys.
I’ll tell you both of a CRAZY Nic flick: Arsenal (2018), which has a loose-prequel with Deadfall (1993). Nic is violent Eddie King in both: complete with thick, unkempt hair (wig) and walrus mustache. Do you recall Andy Kaufman’s Tony Clifton persona from the ’80s? So, was Nic going for a Kaufman-Clifton homage? I have no idea. Neither are good flicks, but Nic — through sheer force of the want of being different — is entertaining in both.