The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent whitethorn execute the highest attraction of Nicolas Cage imaginable successful a portion of media without precocious technological instruments. It’s a movie astir Nic Cage (played by Nic Cage) teaming up with a perchance transgression instrumentality of Nic Cage to marque a movie astir Nic Cage (played by Nic Cage playing Nic Cage) portion occasionally yelling astatine and / oregon kissing a second, imaginary Nic Cage (played by Nic Cage tally done a creepy de-aging filter). It features clips from respective earlier Nic Cage movies arsenic good arsenic a Nic Cage memorabilia country containing a Nic Cage statue and that sequin pillow with Nic Cage connected it. Nic Cage attended the film’s premiere astatine SXSW. So did astatine slightest 1 idiosyncratic holding a insubstantial cutout of Nic Cage’s face.
Nic Cage is simply a taste meme, but he’s besides an histrion known for making large films fantabulous and different unspeakable films astatine slightest interestingly terrible. And Massive Talent — directed by Tom Gormican — doesn’t acceptable successful either category. The movie is theoretically a self-aware satire of fandom, Hollywood, and Cage’s ain legendary status, featuring a heavy fictionalized mentation of the star. In reality, it’s an often amusive but aimless action-comedy that diagnoses its ain communicative issues alternatively of fixing them.
To connection a somewhat much elaborate mentation of the summary above, Massive Talent is astir a mentation of Nic Cage who is professionally palmy but personally a mess. He’s broke, he’s divorced, he’s mislaid the relation of a lifetime, and he’s alarmed that his teenage girl Addy (Lily Sheen) doesn’t bask 1920s German expressionist cinema. (In reality, Cage is presently joined and has a lad named aft Superman.) He is hectored astir his beingness choices by “Nicky,” an uncanny vale mentation of himself who exemplifies each Cage’s famously quirky excesses, peculiarly his penchant for screaming a lot.
At the extremity of his rope, Cage is offered $1 cardinal to sojourn the distant Spanish compound of a affluent superfan and amateur screenwriter named Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal). Then, a CIA cause (Tiffany Haddish) intercepts him and says his caller benefactor is simply a mobster who’s kidnapped a politician’s daughter. She conscripts Cage to find the miss — who is besides a Nic Cage instrumentality — by declaring that helium wants to marque a movie with Javi. The occupation is that Cage turns retired to truly like the man, and contempt the unit of what helium deems his “nouveau shamanic” thespian instincts, he’s not a peculiarly astonishing spy.
I had the payment of watching Massive Talent successful a theatre packed with downright feral Cage devotees who gave it a lasting ovation — erstwhile the histrion showed up clad successful a plaid suit, 1 assemblage subordinate threw her caput backmost and screamed similar a upland lion. Even without that atmosphere, the film’s starring duo could astir apt merchantability the movie connected their chemistry alone. Pascal dials his portrayal of a saccharine but perchance murderous quality up to Cage-worthy intensity. Cage oscillates betwixt bewildered consecutive antheral and aggravated meme-self, a opposition that feels much earthy than it sounds. The champion scenes beryllium heavy connected Pascal and Cage’s consciousness of comic timing and their quality to present dialog that’s genre-savvy without sounding gratingly Whedonesque.
Unfortunately, the wide acquisition remains reasonably scattered. There’s immoderate very, precise gentle satire of Hollywood and a perfunctory bid of scenes wherever Cage tries his manus astatine spycraft. There’s a broadly drawn “cynical egotist gets his mojo back” crippled arsenic Cage learns to reconnect with his girl and his trade done Javi. There’s a moving metacommentary connected Massive Talent’s ain crippled done jokes astir Cage and Javi’s script, including a proposition that the spycraft is conscionable a hook to gully successful audiences. But overmuch of this seems similar a distraction from watching Cage and Pascal bent out.
At champion — and I mean best earnestly due to the fact that it’s a tenable and pleasurable raison d’être — Massive Talent is real-person fanfiction. It pairs up Cage with Pascal’s original character for a batch of escaped scenes wherever they instrumentality LSD, speech done movie ideas, leap disconnected picturesque cliffs, and, successful a motion to a 2021 highly online joke, reason Paddington 2 is truly good.
But similar overmuch fanfiction, the movie depends connected you already having a beardown attachment to its protagonist. Massive Talent doesn’t make Cage’s quality overmuch beyond the limits of his contiguous carnal performance. His ex-wife and girl don’t get beyond generic placeholders for a household relationship, and the movie glosses implicit what makes him tick arsenic an actor, seemingly expecting that you’ll amusement up with a beardown grasp of Cage’s prolific vocation and its weird blend of highbrow and lowbrow roles.
Massive Talent besides assiduously avoids immoderate of the astir distinctive aspects of Cage fandom, which grows arsenic overmuch from performative taste hivemind dynamics arsenic classical Hollywood stardom. Characters respond to fictional Cage the mode they would immoderate big-name enactment prima with a varied career, not idiosyncratic who’s beloved successful portion due to the fact that helium takes a batch of roles successful surreally atrocious movies and inspires heated nationalist debates astir whether helium is fundamentally bully oregon bad. There’s nary of the quasi-ironic hyperfixation that turns him from a idiosyncratic to an abstract icon done phenomena similar taping unhinged-looking pictures of Nic Cage astir your house.
Maybe that’s due to the fact that this benignant of appreciation, portion not needfully mean, isn’t wholly complimentary. A batch of meme civilization involves being obsessed with things you’re a small contemptuous of, divorcing creation from its producers arsenic existent quality beings. And portion Massive Talent mightiness periodically poke amusive astatine Cage, it’s mostly funny successful conscionable vibing with him.