Nic Cage is back, not like he went anywhere

Nicolas Cage alongside Predo Pascal in “Massive Talent” Startpage

“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” is a nice surprise for the Spring season


At one time, a very long time ago, Nicolas Cage was one of the most bankable and recognizable movie stars. He came out with hit films in the ‘90s like “Con Air” and “Face/Off.” Recently, he had been starring in lesser known pictures such as “Pig” and “Mandy,” but has recently returned to mainstream status with his new movie “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.” 

“Massive Talent” is a clever, self-aware comedy that is able to play into Cage’s strengths as an actor. The film stars Cage, who plays himself, alongside Pedro Pascal who plays a billionaire mogul Javi Gutierrez. Gutierrez is a fan of Cage’s movies and offers the actor $1 million to attend his birthday party.

Cage comes to Gutierrez’s island for the party and the two eventually warm up to each other and share the idea of creating a movie together. Things go well until two CIA, played by Tiffany Haddish and Ike Barinholtz, recruits Cage to be an informant for them so they can investigate Gutierrez who is suspected to be a major arms dealer.

An interesting plot, but it wasn’t the best part about this movie. What really drove this film home was the clever screenplay that was both funny and smart. The film played into Cage’s reputation as an over actor while at the same time allowed Pascal to shine in his role as a Nicolas Cage fanboy.

One example of the film’s clever writing are the scenes where Cage is talking to an imagination of himself named Nikky. Nikky is the version of Nicolas Cage from the film “Wild at Heart.” Nikky is like that toxic friend that tells you a bad idea is a good idea, like cliff diving at Niagara Falls.

Whenever Cage is going through a personal crisis, all Nikky does is provide him horrible advice that only boosts his ego. It’s clever because Nikky is just symbolism for Cage’s narcissism, which is funny itself because the film points out the arrogance and egotism.

But the screenplay doesn’t just have clever quirps in it to make this feature good. At the same time the film throws a series of curveballs that questions the morality of both Cage and Gutierrez. These curveballs include who should Cage trust or is Nicolas Cage a genuinely caring family or does he just think he is?

The self-aware screenplay plays really well to Cage’s overacting, which in turn makes his acting seem intentionally comical in this film in particular. It’s a warm welcome to Cage’s fans where sometimes in his movies his overacting can be seen as unintentionally hilarious. 

A good example of his unintentional comical antics would be the film “Leaving Las Vegas.” That movie is a depressing drama, but there are instances where Cage’s acting comes off as funny instead of series. “Massive Talent” is clever enough where Cage’s overacting fits really well with the screenplay and doesn’t seem unintentional.

Pascal also shined in his role as Gutierrez. The audience is led to believe that this man should be somewhat feared, but instead Pascal showcases his comedic acting talents. Pascal plays the role of a nervous fanboy perfectly, he does all the characteristics that a fanboy would do. He’s nervous when talking to Cage, treats him as his hero and has a room dedicated to Cage.

People who are going to see this movie are going to get more than they paid for. Instead of a self serving comedy, it’s a smartly written comedy that points out Cage’s fault, but at the same time keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. Without spoiling anything, people are going to be delightfully surprised when walking out of the theater.