Photo from Rolling Stone

Nicolas Cage stars as Nick Cage in the buddy-comedy aptly named The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. The character, Nick Cage, is an exaggerated version of the real-life actor as he struggles to stay relevant today. He reluctantly agrees to attend a birthday party for a fan named Javi (Pedro Pascal) and is recruited by the CIA to spy on him.

I like Nicolas Cage, but I wouldn’t say I’m a fan of his per se. However, I always liked it when movies and shows have celebrities play exaggerated versions of themselves. It’s good fun to poke fun at celebrity culture and I think it should actually be criticized more.

The scenes between Cage and Pascal were so fun, but I do wish we got a bit more of their friendship. This was really where the magic of the movie lies. Cage gives a nice performance here. He’s over-the-top performance when the scene calls for it but he also brings a vulnerability to the role. Pascal was similarly great. He is just so earnest and loveable in the film. I really bought their bromance here.

A highlight for me was Cage’s ex-wife, Olivia (Sharon Horgan). The actress appeared in Game Night, which to me is the last great comedy. Some of her lines and reactions got big laughs out of me. Tiffany Haddish and Ike Barinholtz round out the cast of the film as they play two CIA agents. I found both stars to be underutilized in the film though.

The CIA aspect of the story is honestly one I could do without. I just had a hard time buying that they would recruit a civilian to spy on someone who they suspect is the head of a criminal organization. The film is fairly predictable so I knew where this plot thread was going. Like I said before though, the buddy-comedy aspect of the film is where it shines and I appreciated the meta-ness of the jokes.

Look any movie that acknowledges and recognizes the utter greatness of Paddington 2 is a win in my book. The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is an enjoyable film, it will make you laugh, and has an epic bromance at its center. I think you will get more out of this movie if you know most, if not all of, Cage’s work. Even if you are not a superfan of Cage’s though, you will have a good time.

I give The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent a B.

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