‘The unbearable weight of a huge talent’ (The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, 2022) is a meta-comedy of great proportions directed by Tom Gormican, who also co-wrote the script with Kevin Etten, to try to render a self-parodic tribute to Nicolas Cage, in which the actor himself is a conscious and active accomplicedoing an exercise in introspection about his career that shows his ability to laugh at himself.
Being a fan of Cage today can be attributed to cynical and millennial humour, but the truth is that for decades, the performer’s face on a movie poster was the key to selling millions of tickets around the world, and as well as a world star, he has been called the best actor of his generationwhich no one questioned for a long time, but the passage of time and debts have created the image of a guy capable of accepting any paper to pay for a motorcycle, a castle or debts from the estate.
This has led to a meme stage in which Cage has experimented with his own image, has engulfed it and has returned it with complicity with his audience that does nothing but multiply everything that is expected of him, and this film, for better or for worse, is the latest consequence of this phenomenon increased by gifs and social networks. Here Cage plays Nick Cage, a fictional version of himself who expresses lofty ideas about acting but finds it increasingly difficult to get jobs.
Holidays in Spain
The fictional Cage is also having family problems: his teenage daughter (Lily Sheen) resents him, and his impending divorce from his brainy makeup artist wife Olivia (Sharon Horgan) has left him broke. Fortunately, her agent (Neil Patrick Harris) has a job for him: Spanish billionaire and superfan Javi (Peter Pascal) will pay Nick to attend the birthday party he organizes in Mallorca. By the way, Javi has also written a script for a movie that he hopes his idol will read.
Nick shows up on the island hoping to do just the right thing to get paid. But he and Javi end up forging a warm bond with LSD and a shared love for…Nick Cage. His bromance is thwarted when a duo of CIA agents (Tiffany Haddish and Ike Barinholtz), who believe that Javi is behind a kidnapping, put Cage in a plot worthy of one of his films. Meanwhile, a young Cage from the ‘Wild at Heart’ era appears repeatedly to remind the older Nick that he is no longer a serious actor but a superstar, and you need to start behaving like one.
Everything about the role sounds pretty good, and any fan of the actor and his phenomenon will find memorable quotes from ‘Face to Face’, ‘Con Air’, ‘The Rock’ and other unavoidable easter eggs, but the truth is that everything sounds like a Little by little, we review what we have already seen in gifs and memes, so the script falls short of making a good comedy out of all of this. There are no shortage of delirious moments, Cage making a fool of himself without feeling the least bit ridiculous and a good series of tricks up his sleeve that make ‘The unbearable weight of a huge talent’ an entertaining event.
Less brilliant than Cage deserved
But this act of self-mockery isn’t particularly daring or clever beyond its own existence, and is reminiscent of other attempts to do something like ‘insane possession‘ (My Name is Bruce, 2007), the horror film equivalent of Bruce Campbell, so it shouldn’t surprise anyone. Fortunately, she is not as smart as many might expect, and avoids the pomposity and posturing surrealism of the very aged ‘How to be John Malkovich‘, but maybe a somewhat sharper script and more dynamism would have improved the whole.
‘The unbearable weight of a huge talent’ is coffee for very coffee lovers, but it has funny performances by a cast that believes the joke and some funny action scenes, but it is no more than an anecdote more than one time in which we are obsessed by the things that gave us happiness in the past. It is just another film trying to squeeze a brand, in this case that of the actor himself, but at least she’s surprisingly cute and full of heart.
And it does so by ensuring that the reflection on the position of the Hollywood actors of the day before yesterday today has more depth than it deserves, confirming in passing that Nicolas Cage remains a professional with more charts and the ability to read his own position in the industry that many other names that shone in the 80-90s and have not been able (or known) to mutate in such an unusual way and, why not, worthy of sincere admiration.