‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’ is an Exceptionally Fun Buddy Comedy

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is insane. It’s a movie that, on paper, sounds like a bad acid trip—but it’s actually the best kind of acid trip. It may be Nic Cage’s most ambitious film yet, because it goes so far into his own fictionalized psyche and makes it into a larger-than-life piece of irreverent feel-good cinema. To quote two very funny gents: it’s a character-driven adult drama. But with lots of comedy, a kidnapping plot and the perfect bromance. It’s a movie that pokes fun at life imitating art and art imitating life.

Nicholas Cage (Nicolas Cage) has had a good run as an actor, but the last few years have proven trying for his career. He’s not booking roles anymore, his daughter hates him, and he’s living in a hotel he can’t afford because he and his wife got a divorce. When the director of “his next big role” decides to go in another direction, Cage makes the decision to retire from acting. But first, he’s going to take one last job to cover his debts.

Enter Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal), a Nicholas Cage super-fan, who has hired Nick Cage to attend his birthday party in Spain for the handsome sum of one million dollars. He also has more nefarious plans for Cage, because he’s a writer of sorts and he has a script that he wants the actor to star in. But there’s more than meets the eye with Javi and the compound that he lives in and the CIA decides to task Nick Cage with getting to the bottom of what’s happening.

massive talent pedro pascal nicolas cage
Courtesy of Lionsgate

You don’t have to be a Javi-level super-fan of real-life Nic Cage to appreciate Massive Talent, but it would definitely be helpful to have a working knowledge of his filmography, especially when “Nicky” comes into play. The film is rife with allusions to Cage’s impressive body of work, including Croods II with Emma Stone. But there are also a lot of Hollywood-centric references in general, including a hilarious mention of the Screen Actors Guild. If you’re stressed about what to watch before seeing this comedy, skip a Cage Binge and dive headfirst into Paddington 2.

Even with CIA agents (Tiffany Haddish and Ike Barinholtz) telling Cage that Javi is the dangerous head of a drug cartel who may or may not have kidnapped a presidential candidate’s daughter, Nick and Javi form an unbreakable friendship that is absolutely put to the test throughout the film. From late-night tears over the aforementioned Paddington, to boozy swims, to insane acid-fueled joyrides, to deep conversations about movie-making, they run the full gamut in the span of a few days. The duo is made up of the kind of dynamite personalities that every buddy-comedy enthusiast dreams of. Cage’s sometimes stoic persona plays off Pascal’s dramatics, matching insane highs with insane highs.

Amidst the meme-worthy moments and the hijinks, there are a lot of really great acting moments for Cage to sink his teeth into. Through this unbelievable situation that Nick Cage is thrown into, he gets to reassess his relationship with his career, renew his relationship with his family, and figure out the true meaning of friendship. It may sound trite, but all of the moving pieces come together really beautifully as the film plays out.

Director and co-writer Tom Gormican (with co-writer Kevin Etten) deftly balance the absurd plot with a massive amount of heart to create a film that will undoubtedly stand the test of time, not just for Cage fans, but for folks just looking to have a fun time with a movie that doesn’t make them think or attempt to solve the mysteries of life.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is in theatres on April 22, 2022.

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Image Credit: Lionsgate. 

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent


The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is insane.

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Maggie Lovitt is an editor and writer at Wealth of Geeks where she covers her favorite topics: Star Wars and pop culture nerdery. She is also a freelance writer and News Editor at Collider. She has had bylines at Inverse, Polygon, and Dorkside of the Force. She is also a member of the Hollywood Critics Association.

When she is not covering entertainment news, she can be found on one of her numerous podcasts or on her YouTube channel. In her free time, she is also a novelist, screenwriter, actor, and member of the Screen Actors Guild.