Movie review: Nicolas Cage plays himself and it's a joy to watch

Fred Hawson

Posted at May 19 2022 04:59 PM

Nicolas Cage
Nicolas Cage in 'The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent'

Actor Nick Cage (Nicolas Cage) having difficulty connecting with his daughter Addy (Lily Sheen) and his ex-wife Olivia (Sharon Horgan) because of his obsession with his career. He could also not get any good movie projects lately, and was facing financial troubles. On the verge of retiring from show business, he accepts an invitation to make a one-time appearance as the guest of honor at a billionaire's birthday in Mallorca. 

When he met his host Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal), Cage was at first annoyed and uninterested, but the two eventually hit it off very well with their common love for cinema. Later, Cage was informed by CIA agents Vivian (Tiffany Haddish) and Martin (Ike Barinholtz) that Javi was the main suspect in the kidnapping of a politician's daughter, and that they were recruiting Cage to be their informant on Javi's activities. 

Nicolas Cage was a superstar in the 1980s and 1990s with unforgettable films like "The Rock" (1996), "Con Air" (1997), "Face/Off" (1997) and "City of Angels" (1998), among many more. He won an Academy Award for Best Actor for his role in "Leaving Las Vegas" (1995). Since the turn of the millennium, his career took a downturn as he was derided for roles in forgettable B-films like "The Wicker Man" (2006) and "Season of the Witch" (2011). 

Last year, Cage had a critically acclaimed performance in the film "Pig" (2021) and this was seen as a career breakthrough for him, returning to the A-list. His momentum is maintained with this new film, "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent," which had an interesting premise of Nick Cage playing a parody version of himself as a down-and-out actor whose career needed a serious boost. He portrayed himself tongue-in-cheek all the way here, and it was a joy to watch.

This film celebrates Nicolas Cage the actor, with random references to Cage's long filmography, like "Guarding Tess" (1994), "Gone in 60 Seconds" (2000), "Captain Corelli's Mandolin" (2001) etc. Having mature Nick Cage arguing with young brash "Wild at Heart"-era Nicky Cage about being an actor vs. a star was a stroke of genius. 

The buddy chemistry Cage had with Pedro Pascal, who played a Cage super-fan, was a lot of fun. 

This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."