‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’ Movie Review: A Wildly Clever Parody

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

Since its premiere at SXSW in March of 2022, I’ve heard nothing but good things about The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. And now that the film is finally out in wide release, we’ve had a chance to see what all the hype is about. Does it live up to the chatter we’ve heard over the last month? Yes, it absolutely does.

So what’s the plot? In The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, Nicolas Cage stars as… Nick Cage. Creatively unfulfilled and facing financial ruin, the fictionalized version of Cage must accept a $1 million offer to attend the birthday of a dangerous super-fan (Pedro Pascal).

Things take a wildly unexpected turn when Cage is recruited by a CIA operative (Tiffany Haddish) and forced to live up to his own legend, channeling his most iconic and beloved on-screen characters to save himself and his loved ones. With a career built for this very moment, the seminal award-winning actor must take on the role of a lifetime: Nicolas Cage.

Trailer

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent Movie Review: What I Did and Didn’t Like

The Acting

Nicolas Cage has been making some excellent career choices as of late. And while he’s been in some cult classics that we all love over the last forty years, Cage has recently reminded us that he’s not just a movie star – he’s also a damn good actor.

In Massive Talent, he takes on a role that was likely the scariest of his career to date, playing a version of himself. It’s not exactly a profound deep-dive into meta, but Cage delivers a solid and hysterical performance that’s entertaining from beginning to end.

Pedro Pascal also delivers an excellent performance here – walking the line between two different personalities. While the film shines its spotlight on Cage, Pascal still stands out and holds his own. So much so that when the film’s twists and turns start to reveal themselves, I can say that I honestly didn’t see it coming. I credit that to Pascal.

The Story

At first glance, it may appear that Cage is making fun of himself with his role here. But that couldn’t be further from the truth. Instead, you have a narrative about a father’s love for his daughter, a take on how ridiculous Hollywood is, and a look at fandom and what it means to be a celebrity.

At the core of this film, though, the story is really about the friendship that forms between Cage and Pascal’s characters. Their on-screen chemistry is palpable in every scene, making it one of the better buddy comedies I’ve seen in the last decade.

While the movie could have quickly gone in the direction of feeling like crazy fan fiction, the overall story and dialogue managed to stay grounded and clever – despite some pretty extreme plot twists.

I appreciated that the film, in a way, made fun of its own industry. The idea that you have to have this perfect formula of stereotypical moments mixed with high-stakes drama, dramatic goodbyes, and surprising twists to have a successful film. And even then, as an actor, you can’t take a break. You have to keep landing blockbuster after blockbuster in order to stay relevant.

Overall

It’s been a minute since I’ve seen an entertaining and smart comedy of this caliber. It’s satire at its best.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is truly a breath of fresh air. There are lots of fun nuggets (some obscure) from Cage’s filmography that blends beautifully with wacky humor. Even though it’s not the “real” Nick Cage here, fans can certainly appreciate the clever parody. 

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent Movie Review:

Grade: A-

Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in Emma's Geek Girl Blog, Featured, Movie Reviews, Movies

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