Nerdlocker Movie Review: The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent


“I am not a demon. I am a lizard, a shark, a heat-seeking panther. I want to be Bob Denver on acid playing the accordion.” – Nicolas Cage

The career of Nicolas Cage is as eclectic and off-the-wall as the man himself. He has pretended to defeat convicts in the air and steal the Declaration of Independence and in reality has purchased everything from an illegal Mongolian dinosaur skull to a pet octopus. He’s odd. (“But it’s cool!”) But that’s kind of what makes him so much fun to watch. You can’t wait to see what he does next.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is no exception to the bizarro character that is Cage. They describe it as an exaggerated, fictional version of Cage but I wonder just how much is fake and how much really encapsulates the emphasis of who Nicolas Cage really is. If the movie of a fictional Cage is the final product, he is without question the foundation of something so audacious. So if anything it’s a blurring of lines between reality and a fiction that I assume is only slightly exaggerated from his true life experiences. Do I think he was hired by the CIA to rescue a kidnapped girl from the grips of a murderous drug lord? No I do not. Do I however think he could be friends with a murderous drug lord? It wouldn’t surprise me in the slightest. Just look at Dennis Rodman and Kim Jong-un as proof that this kind of batshit insane scenario is perfectly feasible.

I think the greatest strength of Massive Talent is the idea that Cage is absolutely in on the joke that pokes fun at his career and certainly his narcissism as an actor and father. He literally sees a younger, dare I say more selfish version of himself that interacts with him, talks with him and even comes in physical contact with him. And what does this younger Cage do for the modern day Cage? He inflates the actor’s ego that is embedded deep within him like a conceited tick.

Much of the movie is about Cage trying to find his place back in the Hollyweird spotlight that has in recent years started to shun him. Having done so many straight to dvd type movies to pay his taxes, he’s now ready to return to A-list status. The problem is the ego clashing with his very real responsibilities as a father to his teenage daughter. Not only does he forgo the happiness of his only child for his career he forgets that his own life exists beyond the frame of a camera lens. I think this may be the more reality based side of his life. When the true fiction starts is at the point of his career when no jobs are coming in. Needing money, he takes a million dollar offer to make an appearance at a grown man’s birthday party in the scenic city of Dubrovnik, located in Croatia.

In the beginning he is apprehensive and frankly just all around bothered to be there. Before long he begins to see a friendship form with the man who hired him for his birthday. Of course none of this is weird enough for Nicolas Cage so a kidnapping is thrown in for good measure involving drug lords, the CIA and his own fan doubling as a sidekick and co-writer of their new movie. It’s real life Nicolas Cage meeting his many alter egos in a sequence of events meant for the hero within him to rise and save the day. The entire thing is ridiculous and it’s so much fun to go on this ride with the oddest man in the room, Nicolas Cage as Nicolas Cage.

I have to admit the hype around this movie left me slightly underwhelmed. While I certainly enjoyed this movie, a lot actually, I was expecting something a little more, I guess, groundbreaking. I don’t think that was ever the intention of the movie so I can’t exactly fault it for the projections of other people who may have overblown its significance. I want to be clear though, if I was expecting a 10 out of 10, what I saw was more 8 out of 10. Not a major drop in my opinion. That said, in a weekend release featuring Robert Eggers’ viking epic The Northman, Massive Talent isn’t even the best movie of its release weekend. They are very different movies though I can’t stress that enough. While it may not be the best movie this weekend, I’d say it would make a great weekend seeing both rather than one or the other.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is Nicolas Cage’s chance to finally join the rest of us and find the humor in his unconventional life and career. I want to say that though I and many of us have been laughing we never stopped caring and we have never stopped admiring him. He IS the National Treasure and much like the Keanussance, Cage is getting his much deserved Cagessance(?). You get my point.

Rated R For: language throughout, some sexual references, drug use and violence
Runtime: 107 minutes
After Credits Scene: No
Genre: Action, Comedy, Crime
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Pedro Pascal, Tiffany Haddish, Neil Patrick Harris
Directed By: Tom Gormican

Out of 10 Nerdskulls
Story: 8/ Acting: 8/ Directing: 7/ Visuals: 7
OVERALL: 8 Nerdskulls

Buy to Own: Yes.

Check out the trailer below:

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Chase Gifford

"Cinema is the most beautiful fraud in the world"-Jean-Luc Godard