Film Review – The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022)

films, reviews

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I know that nearly everyone is obsessed with Pedro Pascal right but I am obsessed with Pedro Pascal right now. Everything I hear about him or watch him in just makes me love him more. He even made me consider going back to give the game The Last of Us another chance. Recently I’ve seen that clip of him and Nicolas Cage so many times on TikTok and Instagram. It feels like it was a sign to actually watch it. I love both actors and it looked like fun. More than enough opportunity for Cage to poke fun at himself and his nouveau shamanism method of acting. I don’t know what stopped me from watching it earlier but I guess I was worried it was too good to be true. It was finally time to find out for sure.

I love a Nicolas Cage film because you never what you’re going to get from the actor. Yes, it will likely be over-the-top and energetic but he is, at least, a varied performer. So, it was always going to be interesting to see how he would approach a fictionalised version of himself. Turns out, pretty well. Cage isn’t afraid to make fun of himself or his career, which is a big part of why this film works. He is willing to take shots at everything. His previous films, his acting style and his own personality. He uses this self-awareness to create a fun comedy.

We not only get Cage himself but we see a de-aged CGI version of himself called Nicky. This younger version pops up every now and then to scream some sense into his older counterpart. Not only is this a recurring plot point but it serves as one of many references to his past films. This is a film for Nicolas Cage fans. There are visual and verbal references to so many of his previous roles. The room of props is definitely going to delight his fans.

The room is owned by Javi, played by Pedro Pascal. He is a billionaire who offers the actor $1 million to appear at his birthday. As you can expect, Javi is a huge fan of Cage and is a big film fan. Unfortunately, Cage isn’t exactly thrilled about the trip. He sees it as a sign that his career has gone off the deep end, which is where his younger self comes in. But don’t worry, this isn’t a film about the self-indulgent inner battle of a washed-up Hollywood star.

What this film turns out to be is a fairly endearing buddy movie. The chemistry between Cage and Pascal is brilliant. It says a lot about him as an actor that Pascal is able to outshine the star in many scenes. The film is at its strongest when the two men are on-screen together. The rest of the cast don’t offer much of an impression. None of the other actors really get much to do and it seems like a waste of talent. Both Sharon Horgan and Tiffany Haddish deserved better material.

It’s not as if this is a remarkable film or that it does something particularly exciting. The big twists in the narrative are really obvious and cliched. Ultimately, I don’t think it matters that much. This is a fun film that definitely doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s a bit like Cage himself. Kind of all over the place, sometimes a bit much but always entertaining on some level.

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