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The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022) May 27th, 2022

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent gets as close to a masterpiece as any Nicholas Cage movie can. The meta narrative pulls from some real aspects of Nicholas Cage’s life like financial struggles pushing him to take unglamorous roles and high paying private appearances. In The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent he’s offered a million dollars to appear at a wealthy man’s birthday party. That man turns out to be Pedro Pascal’s character who’s involved in a family drug cartel or some other kind of illegal operation.

Tiffany Haddish and Ike Barinholtz character’s are some sort of law enforcement who approach Nicholas Cage and ask him to help them uncover the truth behind Pascal’s criminal activities. Cage becomes conflicted when he finds a gentle kindred spirit in Pascal’s character, who we learn is not actually the sinister mastermind of a criminal organization. He’s a patsy for his… brother? Look it’s been a long time since I saw this movie and I don’t remember character names or some relationships and I’m too lazy to look them up because in the end the difference between a cousin and an uncle in this situation is irrelevant except to suggest a sense of familial loyalty between the two characters which acts against Pascal’s urges to go legit. Cage plays both sides against the middle, the middle being his friendship with Pascal and his own family’s safety, eventually becoming a version of the gun toting heroic roles he filled in so many 90’s blockbusters.

It’s astounding that The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is a phenomenally funny film let alone exists at all. It’s the kind of fan fiction script written by a passionate nerd no one expects to be made because doing so requires a high profile performer to embrace their very public flaws allowing themselves to be the butt of many jokes… and in that way capture the public’s hearts once more. Nicholas Cage has been in a career funk of straight to streaming, on demand, Redbox movies for about a decade but after successes like Mandy, Pig and hopefully The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent we’ll see the Cagian renaissance he deserves.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is a movie about Nicholas Cage but it’s Pedro Pascal’s film. It’s absolutely the best performance I’ve seen him give in nearly anything except the charity Community table read where he plays Walton Goggin’s character. Pascal steals the show from a world renowned show stealer and elevates The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent from a goofy meta comedy to an epic story about two men realizing an unimaginable friendship. Unfortunately everywhere Pascal soars Haddish falls. She seemed like an odd fit for this movie, by the time it released she was already starring in her own films and her performance here is awkward and out of place. Perhaps that’s an unfortunate side effect of her ballooning fame but a role that small would’ve been better cast with a less well known actress.

If you don’t find Nicholas Cage’s public persona funny or enjoy meta comedy then The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is not the movie for you. There’s nothing wrong with that, but if your tastes are peculiar enough you’ll find yourself having a great time laughing at Cage’s self effacing comedy as Pascal chews the scenery. Great film.

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