The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent | movie review
Two massive talents weighed down by unbearable action.
Movie summary: In this action-packed comedy, Nicolas Cage plays Nick Cage, channelling his iconic characters as he's caught between a super-fan and a CIA agent. (IMDb)
The are some movies that want you to take them seriously and there are some that want you to just have fun. Then there are those attempts at switching between both tones, which is a bloody fine line and is unfortunately one The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent fails to walk, with the action at the end proving a poor substitute for brilliant fun of just watching Nicolas Cage and Pedro Pascal have some fun.
A lot of movies that are fun for the majority of the running time seem to have this issue of trying to cram in something serious and usually failing to do so successfully, and I can't understand why the attempts are even made. Is it because of studio interference? Do those making the movie think it'll be overlooked if it's 'just' fun? Or that they might not be hired for more serious work in the future?
Losing the action angle and focusing on movie Cage's family problems would've been more than enough, especially as it could've really played up the sweet, if slightly odd friendship between the fictional Cage and Pascal's Javi Gutierrez. Sharon Horgan and Lily Sheen are great as Cage's wife and daughter respectively, and there's more than enough material to work with there that could've added some emotional depth to proceedings.
Even with the action-based climax containing some humour, it still feels really out of place and just doesn't fit with the rest of Unbearable Weight, feeling like it should've been something going on in the background at best, with Cage and Javi oblivious to how violent things are getting as they continue getting to know each other, which is what makes up the majority of the movie and is a hell of a lot of fun to watch,
Nicolas Cage and Pedro Pascal are both great actors, which makes it difficult to tell if they're just brilliant at playing slightly strange buddies, or if they really did get on as well as it appears, because it really does feel like they must've had a lot of fun making this movie together. I doubt we'll get a sequel to this movie, but I'd happily watch this pairing again and again and again - they are just that much fun to watch.
The biggest problem the movie has isn't just that the ending feels out of place, but that the story actually draws attention to it. Javi wants to make a film with Cage and when the latter suggests an action-packed finale, Javi disagrees and says it doesn't fit with the story he wants to tell - hell, maybe that was the director, Tom Gormicon, having a pop at the studio if that ending wasn't his choice?
I can't fully recommend The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent because how it ends will most likely leave you walking out wondering what the hell happened to the movie you thought you were watching, but I really can't praise the first two-thirds of the movie highly enough for just how much fun it is to watch Cage and Pascal enjoy themselves. Perhaps if you watch it while expecting a weaker ending, you'll have more fun with it than I did going in knowing nothing about how different the climax is to the rest of the movie.
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is huge fun until it turns into the exact film it's already mocked itself, which is an... interesting creative choice. Still, the first two-thirds are genuinely excellent fun, and I would've been happy if the entire thing had been just Nicolas Cage and Pedro Pascal continuing to have some silly fun together - such a shame it doesn't happen.