Give in to Nicolas Cage’s “Massive Talent,” a clever caper with the power to make anyone a fan

In “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” the legendary actor Nicolas Cage (Nicolas Cage) is hoping to play “the position of a lifetime.” But regardless of what he thinks is a good assembly — to an outsider, Cage comes off as a little determined — the director (David Gordon Green) “goes in a completely different route.” This disappointment sends Cage to hit the bottle like the Oscar-winning actor’s character, Ben Sanderson, in “Leaving Las Vegas.” In reality, Cage is so discouraged that he calls his agent, Richard Fink (Neil Patrick Harris), and tells him he’s going to stop performing. Besides, he wants to restore his relationship with Addy (Lily Mo Sheen), his teenage daughter who has at all times comes second (or probably third) to his self-indulgence and his profession.

What’s an actor with nouveau shamanistic instincts to do?

But earlier than he retires, Cage has to go to Mallorca and meet with Javi (Pedro Pascal) — a enormous fan of the actor — who’s paying him a cool $1 million for a private look. Cage, who’s $600,000 in debt, wants the cash, so he agrees, albeit reluctantly. What he does not know is that CIA operatives Vivian (Tiffany Haddish, underused) and Martin (Ike Barinholtz) suspect Javi has kidnapped the teenage daughter of the Spanish Presidential candidate (who, by the way, can be a Cage fan) and is hiding her in his lair. Cage is subsequently requested to spy on Javi, find the candidate’s daughter, and probably kill his host. 

What’s an actor with nouveau shamanistic instincts to do?

“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” runs extra delicate than wild, with this ridiculous premise and that’s a good factor; it does not take itself too significantly, even when Cage does. The movie delights in throwing in as many Cage movie references as potential. There is the “What do you say we reduce the chit-chat, a-hole?” line from “The Rock,” the golden weapons props from “Face/Off,” and the therapeutic power of cinema is exemplified by Cage’s 1994 characteristic, “Guarding Tess.” There are additionally visible and/or aural cues to “Moonstruck,” the underrated “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin,” “National Treasure,” “Mandy,” “Con Air,” and “The Croods,” amongst a number of different movies. (Viewers unfamiliar with the actor’s oeuvre may have no hassle maintaining.)

RELATED: Nicolas Cage’s revenge thriller “Pig” is more about loss than bringing home the bacon

“Nic Cage smooches good.”  

Moreover, in the movie’s oddest moments, Nic is visited by Nicky (Nicolas Kim Coppola), an alternate model of himself from Cage’s “Wild at Heart” interval that echoes the twins Cage performed in his Oscar-nominated efficiency in “Adaptation.” The movie’s weirdest bit has Cage kissing himself, however, then once more, as Nic Cage boldly declares, “Nic Cage smooches good.”  

Nicolas Cage and Pedro Pascal in “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” (Katalin Vermes/Lionsgate)

The greatest a part of the movie are the scenes that includes Cage and Javi, the place the Spaniard will get to reside out each film lover’s fantasy of getting a sleepover with the actor they most admire. Pedro Pascal performs Javi like a lovestruck teenager, which is why their dialogue of Javi’s favourite movies, or an episode the place Javi and Cage have an journey whereas tripping on LSD, are nice enjoyable. The guys even get to have a “chase” scene — cue a “Gone in 60 Seconds” reference — which is a hoot, and there may be a terrific bit the place they admire and swap one another’s sneakers. 

Javi has a screenplay he hopes Cage will star in, nonetheless, as a result of Cage wants to discover the kidnapped teenager, he stalls by suggesting he and Javi write a film collectively as a substitute. It can be character-driven grownup drama, till Vivian encourages Cage to recommend a kidnapping to perceive Javi’s mindset, and their screenplay shifts gears and genres and turns into an motion movie. (Something for everybody!) Of course, the self-referential “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” shifts gears, too. 

But the movie will get sillier because it folds in on itself, and when Cage’s long-suffering ex-wife, Olivia (Sharon Horgan, splendidly droll), and daughter arrive in Mallorca, Addy will get kidnapped, and Cage’s security is compromised. 

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The CIA storyline is the movie’s weakest factor as a result of the bromance between Cage and Javi is so sturdy. Had there been some ambiguity about Javi’s criminality, the movie might need ratcheted up the stress. At least, the motion, when the s**t will get actual, is type of thrilling.

There are scenes of him howling or wailing wildly.

The artwork imitates life imitating artwork imitating life gimmick right here is definitely clever, and Cage does get some actual alternatives to shine. He is arguably greatest doing a bodily comedy bit as when he unintentionally doses himself whereas on a CIA mission and has to break into a room via a window from an outdoor ledge to get the antidote. And there may be an amusing scene involving Cage and Javi tripping and attempting to scale a wall after they assume they’re being pursued. 

But for superfans hoping Cage will eat a reside cockroach (as he did in “Vampire’s Kiss”) or have a manic second (as he has completed in a lot of his movies), “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” does not ask Cage to get too loopy. Yes, there are scenes of him howling or wailing wildly beginning with his very first look in the movie, however this model of Nic Cage — whereas not as introspective as his current flip in “Pig” — is definitely extra subdued. That is definitely to the movie’s credit score as Cage is definitely fairly likeable right here; the success of his efficiency is that he makes viewers need to hang around with him (as Javi does) — even when this sort of self-absorbed, movie-star persona is exactly what irritates his daughter.  

“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” might not fairly be a game-changer for Cage — time will inform — but it surely does poke enjoyable at Cage’s celeb in a sensible, self-deprecating means. It is certain to please followers and non-fans alike.

“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” opens in theatres Friday, April 22. Watch a trailer for it beneath, by way of YouTube.

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