‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’ is absurd in the best way

The new film honors its star through a fun action comedy.



Nicolas Cage and Pedro Pascal in “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” (2022).

Sarina Grossi, Editor-in-Chief

In Hollywood, it’s common to refer to a movie as a “star-making vehicle,” something that cements that an actor or actress is a star. It is incredibly rare to see a film be a “star-affirming vehicle,” featuring someone we have seen for decades and works as a sort of redemption film rather than an introduction. “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” directed by Tom Gormican, highlights Nicolas Cage in his most personal role yet, himself.

As previously mentioned, the film follows Cage as himself, a once successful actor that is now struggling to find a job and to connect with his family. Down on his luck, Cage agrees to take a job where he attends the birthday party of his biggest fan (and possibly the most notorious arms dealer in the world), Javi (Pedro Pascal). As their friendship grows, Cage is recruited by a CIA agent (Tiffany Haddish) to uncover the kidnapping plot Javi might possibly be involved in.

With a plot like that, the movie sounds ridiculous— and it is, in the best way possible. With the film focusing on Cage, an actor known for his exaggerated performances in a wide array of movies, the movie needed to be a cheesy, wacky adventure, and it definitely delivered as it didn’t take itself too seriously. From a scene showing Cage and Pascal struggle to run away from two random old men while inebriated to a whole secret room owned by Javi memorializing Cage including a life size wax figure of the actor, the film revels in its campiness, providing a delightful watch.

A particular highlight is the chemistry between Cage and Pascal. Both actors appear to be having the time of their lives, becoming best friends in the process. It almost makes the audience feel like a third-wheel, as they seem to just get each other in a special way.

The main issue with the film is the stakes of the main conflict, as the last act of the film feels like it turns into a straight action movie with no motivation behind it. The secret villain reveal wasn’t very satisfying considering that we barely knew the character beforehand, and the whole act felt like just a contrived way to make Cage save his relationship with his family. Although the last act is rather weak, it doesn’t subtract much from the film, as it is still entertaining throughout its 1 hour and 47 minute runtime.

For a long time, Cage has been viewed as a sort of joke, especially on the internet. “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” however, is a sweet tribute to its star, acknowledging both his legacy and what is to come for the actor. If you are a fan of the actor, the film honors its star with hilarity, heart and respect.