MOVIE REVIEWS

REVIEW: Nicolas Cage, Pedro Pascal lift ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’ into a hilarious, meta, buddy-comedy

Apr 22, 2022, 4:21 PM
Nicolas Cage (“Nick Cage”, left) and Pedro Pascal (“Javi”, right) escape their enemies in T...
Nicolas Cage (“Nick Cage”, left) and Pedro Pascal (“Javi”, right) escape their enemies in THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT.
(“Javi”, right)

SALT LAKE CITY — There are few actors in Hollywood like Nicolas Cage.  He seems to be an easy target for parody, yet his string of successful movies is undeniable.  His latest venture, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent from Lionsgate, keeps both of those facts front-and-center throughout the film and mines it to hilarious success.

THE STORY

Cage plays a somewhat fictional version of himself in the movie. Yes, he is the actor who made memorable films like Face/Off, The Rock, Con Air, and National Treasure (all of which, and more, are referenced at some point during the movie). But at the same time, no, that’s not his real wife or daughter–they’re played the film by Sharon Horgan and Lily Mo Sheen.

Cage is trying to stay relevant and stay working in Hollywood, but he’s out of money. So when his agent (Neil Patrick Harris) tells him about a high-paying celebrity appearance at the birthday party of a billionaire super fan named Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal), he has no choice to but accept.

On his way to the party in Mallorca, Spain, CIA agents (played by Tiffany Haddish and Ike Barinholtz) rope Cage into helping the the Agency investigate Javi, whose billions apparently come from the drug trade.  Even worse for Cage, Javi has also written a screenplay he wants his hero to read, and maybe help make!

With all this going on, plus potentially having to help find and rescue a kidnapped teenage girl, Cage must use his unparalleled acting instincts and the skills he’s picked up from his action hits just to survive and, just maybe…save the day!

THINGS I LIKED

I laughed throughout this movie.  For fans of Nick Cage, especially of his work in the 1990’s, this is a must-see.  There are few actors who could balance both the self-centeredness and the self-deprecation that this role requires, not to mention have the filmography to make what the story calls for him to do in “real-life” even somewhat believable.

Pedro Pascal absolutely nails his role as the star-struck, super-rich superfan, who may also be a super bad guy.  The bro chemistry between Cage & Pascal is probably the highlight of the film and is the best buddy-action-comedy pairing I’ve seen in years.

The story, from (who also directed the movie) and , pushes things to some absurd levels. But even in those moments, it still somehow works.

WARNINGS

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is rated R

FINAL THOUGHTS

If you’re over a certain age, looking for something funny or are just a fan of Nick Cage or Pedro Pascal, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is definitely worth your time.  I think it’s the funniest movie I’ve seen so far this year.

Andy’s final rating: THREE out of FOUR stars

WHERE TO WATCH

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is playing only in theaters.  If you prefer to wait for streaming, there is currently no announced premiere date.

Nicolas Cage (“Nick Cage”, left), Lily Sheen (“Addy”, center) and Sharon Horgan (“Olivia”, right) lay together in the living room as they watch a movie in THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT. Pedro Pascal as Javi and Nicolas Cage as Nic Cage in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. Photo Credit: Katalin Vermes/Lionsgate Tiffany Haddish (“Vivian”) makes an important call in THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT. ‘Nick Cage’ (Nicolas Cage, left) enjoying a welcome drink on ’Javi Gutierezz’s’ (Pedro Pascal, right) compound in Mallorca, Spain. Ike Barinholtz (“Martin”) does camera surveillance for the CIA in THE UNBEARABLE WEIGHT OF MASSIVE TALENT. Nicolas Cage as Nic Cage and Pedro Pascal as Javi in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. Photo Credit: Katalin Vermes/Lionsgate Nicolas Cage as Nic Cage in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. Photo Credit: Katalin Vermes/Lionsgate Pedro Pascal as Javi and Nicholas Cage as “fictionalized version of himself” in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. Katalin Vermes/Lionsgate

Hopefully you & your family found this review helpful! Andy Farnsworth does a weekly “What To Watch” segment for the KSL 5 Today morning news show and also hosts the Fan Effect podcast for KSL NewsRadio. Check out his other in-depth reviews of movies and streaming TV series on KSLTV.com.

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REVIEW: Nicolas Cage, Pedro Pascal lift ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’ into a hilarious, meta, buddy-comedy