The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022)

Director: Tom Gormican

Running Time: 107 Minutes

Certification: 15

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Pedro Pascal, Sharon Horgan, Tiffany Haddish, Ike Barinholtz, Alessandra Mastronardi, Jacob Scipio, Neil Patrick Harris, Lily Sheen, Paco León

It's an understatement to say Nicolas Cage has a varied career, with his filmography offering something for every type of film-fan. After 40-years in the business, he's taken on the role he's most suited for playing - himself. As a fictionalized version of Cage that's creatively unfulfilled and in debt, he accepts $1 million to attend the birthday party of superfan Javi (Pedro Pascal). Things take an unexpected turn when Cage is recruited by CIA operatives (Tiffany Hadish & Ike Barinholtz), informing him that Javi is actually a dangerous drug-kingpin.

Based off a screenplay he wrote with Kevin Etten, director Tom Gormican crafts a sincere love-letter to Cage which pays respect to his career from Face/Off to Guarding Tess, and even his Terry Wogan interview. Cage delivers a performance which perfectly covers his persona, mixing larger-than-life elements with quieter moments which showcase his acting range. He showcases physicality and unique line delivery as exceptionally as a mourning for his career and a struggle to relate to his teenage daughter. Just from his delivery of "Goose Chase", this is the most Nick Cage performance of his career.

Blended with this Cage-adoration is an entertaining buddy comedy, where Pedro Pascal plays Javi as a puppy dog eager to please his cinematic idol. There's such effortless chemistry in these leading performances, ensuring the on-screen friendship feels genuine as Cage finds his passion reinvigorated. What could've been a lesser film in the wrong hands excels thanks to this duo, with a particular highlight being an LSD trip.

On top of that is a self-aware element, slyly commenting on the film itself while covering the life and career of the star. While the final act could've been more seamless, this doesn't impact how heartfelt and charming it feels. From Con-Air adoring opening to sweet ending, this feature showcases the transformative power of cinema, with particular love given to Paddington 2. Nick Cage is back, not that he went anywhere.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is available in cinemas now