I Watched: The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent

The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent sees Nicolas Cage as a fictional version of Nick Cage who ends up involved with the CIA while on a trip to see an excited superfan. With Pedro Pascal being the fan and a half decent plot it could be a recipe for something amazing. It took me a while to finally decide to give it a watch but it did take me two attempts.

The first half hour of the movie is unbearable. I’ve known people that don’t like Cage for his over the top, hammy acting style and for his massive ego. I like many of Cage’s movies but I could really see the other perspective with the early part of Massive Talent. The plot is initially set up as an out of work actor wallowing in his misery as he sees himself as a bit of a has been, it really brings out the worst of his acting. The Nicky character that represents his conscience or thought process is especially bad. Between it being boring and annoying I only got through half an hour to the bit when Cage had just met his fan when I decided this one would take effort to sit through.

About five minutes into trying again I started to see what the film was really going for. Rather than being a serious movie I thought I was starting, it turns out Massive Talent is a sort of odd, self aware comedy making fun of how action movies work. More to the point how some of Cage’s other movies work, it gets silly, fun and clever.

There’s a scene with a wall where the two stars start acting massively over dramatic and it seems rubbish, this is the bit where I realised how it’s actually a film making fun of how movies work. The pair just seem like idiots playing, collapsing as they try to climb because no-one is as strong as an action movie character before finding a realistic way to deal with the brickwork. The tone set here is carried on through the rest of the movie, giving it a brilliant goofy charm that becomes a lot more watchable. I started to view the movie less seriously and I even began to enjoy it, finding bits of it funny.

We then get to follow a plot where the CIA believe the fan to be a powerful cartel leader who Cage is supposed to take down, conflicting with the tale of friendship in which the two men want to make a movie together. It’s wacky, weird and full of references to Cage’s older movies. Somehow a movie that starts as one of the worst things ever, showing how bad of an actor the star is turns into something surprising watchable. Arguably the full film is quite funny and good, seeing as the rubbish bits are intentionally bad. It’s just a shame about the stupid title and the awful first half hour which is too much on Cage’s ego.

Another upside to this movie is how we see more of Pedro Pascal’s acting abilities, showing that he can do a weak, friendly idiot superfan. Some of the most interesting scenes are spurred on by his character.

If you can appreciate the weirdness that generally seems to come with Nick Cage movies then this one could be worth recommending. If you can’t see Cage and get the hope for something good this will just be plain awful.


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