THE EXTRA MILE — We have seen Nicolas Cage on the big screen since the 80’s, but we’ve never seen him quite like this. A glorified movie star who shows a clear adoration for his craft, audiences have had the pleasure of experiencing Cage’s skills in blockbuster blowouts like National Treasure and in smaller indie gems like Pig and Willy’s Wonderland. Intelligent and expertly written by Tom Gormican, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent takes an unapologetically meta approach by following a fictional version of Cage who has fallen from stardom after decades at the top.
Although the version of Cage we see on screen may be exaggerated at times, the film acts as a celebration of his cinematic achievements in real life as well as a commentary on the criticism he’s faced throughout his career. Straddling the line between satire and sincerity, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is more than a movie. Not only is it a love letter to starving artists, but it is a captivating call to action for any man striving to be better than who they were yesterday. The film is also sprinkled with references to Cage’s extensive portfolio, making it a geeky joyride for his biggest fans.
Nicolas Cage as Nick Cage and Pedro Pascal as Javi Gutierrez in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
A long prosperous career has left Cage alone and detached from his family, perpetuating complicated relationships with his ex-wife and daughter. Although a brilliant artist, his intense focus on work has corroded the bonds he once shared with those he loves most. He’s sacrificed everything to be a successful actor, including his family, but when we see Cage in the film… he’s suffering from an existential crisis due to a lack of validation from those in his industry. He struggles to get booked on projects and begins to feel his famous fiery passion fading. With no fight left in him, Cage reluctantly agrees to attend his biggest fan’s birthday party on a private island for a hefty million dollar compensation. Cage befriends birthday boy Javi (Pedro Pascal) and the two develop a special platonic bond few people ever experience in their lives. That is, until Cage realizes Javi is a dangerous crime lord responsible for the recent kidnapping of a young girl.
With literal billions at his fingertips and armed security at every corner, Javi’s lifestyle makes it impossible for the girl to be extracted by authorities. Luckily, professional actor and world-famous movie star Nicolas Cage agrees to go undercover as an unofficial asset of the CIA and play the role of a lifetime: himself. Trapped on a luxurious, sunny private island with a mobster constantly fangirling over him, Cage’s access to the island proves to be the young girl’s only shot at being rescued. But working undercover comes with its challenges, and soon Cage is left to question his allegiances.
The film boasts a triumphant story and endearing character developments for both Cage and Pascal’s characters. The film goes beyond buddy-cop comedy tropes, serving us a friendship that reaches beyond quirky adventures and rambunctious affairs (although there are plenty of those). A film about friendship, love and redemption, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent does exceptionally well in displaying these intimate themes while adorning them with inventive comedy, blockbuster action, suspenseful sequences and show-stopping performances from the cast. The way this story ties together by the end will undoubtedly have you on your feet and reaching for that box of tissues.
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent starring Nicolas Cage, Pedro Pascal and Tiffany Haddish releases in theaters on April 22nd, 2022.