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Massive Talent (The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent)
U.S.A. 2022

Opening 16 Jun 2022

Directed by: Tom Gormican
Writing credits: Tom Gormican, Kevin Etten
Principal actors: Nicolas Cage, Pedro Pascal, Tiffany Haddish, Sharon Horgan, Paco León

Wait a minute! Nicolas Cage as Nick Cage.” Now that is quite a premise for a film, and an outrageously fertile playground for a sentimental spoof.

It is impossible to keep the actor Nicolas and character Nick separate, forget it. The two merge into one and just as you are getting used to that, Nick is visited by his obnoxious alter ego Nicky, a younger, flashier version of himself/themselves. Welcome to the world of multiple personalities.

The real-life actor Nicolas Cage plays the washed-up actor Nick Cage who is desperate to pay his debts and support his ex-wife and daughter. His agent Richard Fink (Neil Patrick Harris) finds him a lucrative deal, to fly off to Mallorca to attend the birthday bash of billionaire Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal). The $1 million offer comes just in time as Nick has decided to abandon acting. The handsome puppy-eyed Spaniard Javi is an adoring fan who idolizes Nick. He has even built a secret shrine to the actor, including a life-size wax statue of his Face/Off (1997) character, brandishing his golden pistols. Javi has written a script and wants Nick´s collaboration. A bromance blossoms and the two playfully reenact real and imagined action scenes from Nick´s glory days. They have a blast goofing around, and Nick falls in love with acting again.

But no buddy film is complete without its hurdles. In this case, the CIA, headed by Vivan and Martin (Tiffany Haddish and Ike Barinholtz), recruit Nick to spy on Javi, suspecting him of being an arms dealer who has kidnapped a local politician´s daughter. Has Nick misjudged his amicable host? What had started out as a fan/celebrity love fest turns into an action-packed thriller with car chases, shootouts, and a patriotic climax that intends to send tingles down the spine of any red-blooded American.

It probably helps to be a Nicolas Cage fan, to catch all the film references and one-liners from his more than 120 films, hits and duds alike. Nicolas Cage has received many accolades over the years along with frequent disparagement for his eccentric cinematic choices. I personally have never seen any Cage film beyond Moonstruck in 1987. I´m not bothered to have skipped his other films, and still adore The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. Though a dreadful and easily forgettable film title, it is a fantastic fun parody, and has astonishingly transformed me into a Nicolas Cage fan. (Pat Frickey)

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