Nicholas Cage’s latest movie, “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” brings some well-known characters such as Cage and, Pedro Pascal, and Neil Patrick Harris to the screen. Despite it’s poor writing, Cage and Pascal (Javi) have dynamite chemistry between the two, which delivers a funny and fun-to-watch bromance. Cage and Pascal really save the lack luster script from being a major flop and turn it into an entertaining story with their sheer talent alone.
It certainly does no favors for Cage’s overall career other than the ability to poke some fun at himself and not take himself too seriously. For Nic Cage fans, it may be a bit of “Being John Malkovich” déjà vu. Although not the same as Malkovich, it seems to be a work-around of the same concept. For non-Cage fans, you will still find some humor of the often slap stick kind of comedy.
Cage pulls off a great acting job of playing himself in the movie. He is a Nic Cage that is down on his luck, broke, living out of a hotel room he can’t afford, cannot land an acting gig despite his best efforts, and has ruined his relationship with his wife and daughter all while chasing the next script slot. Cage, facing an almost no-win situation, accepts a job for $1 million to attend a wealthy super-fan’s birthday party at the urging of his agent (Neil Patrick Harris). Soon, he realizes that just like in our regular lives, sometimes things are not what they appear. He is thrown into a CIA mission to investigate his new friend. It takes the viewer on a journey while Cage searches to become a superhero and locate a kidnapped girl, we can all at times relate to wanting to be the hero of our own life. We want to be the one to fix it and decide it. We want to be the hero in our own story and our own life.
While Cage is self-destructing and self-deprecating, the opportunity appears to give him a new lease on life and just the boost he needs. Most can relate to Cage’s despair and self-destructing at some point in life. Choosing anything over God can remind us that we are walking down the road to self-destruction, just as Cage chooses his career over family in the movie and ends up in destruction. It can also serve as a reminder that careers should come after family and the enemy wants nothing more than a beautifully destroyed family.
Cage battles a younger version of himself, as the younger version continually reminds him how great of a star he is and even slaps him around physically a little bit to try and make him think and believe what the younger version wants him to do and think. For the Christian, we can see how there is always another voice, another “version of ourselves” trying to get us to do something, believe something, or say something that is not godly or according to God’s will.
Do not mistake me, the movie has no illusions whatsoever to faith or religion. It does, however, open many doors for conversations about faith based lessons and how life can quickly spiral downhill.
However, there is a scene where the younger version of Cage kisses the current version of Cage on the lips, a brief but totally unnecessary and uncalled for, act of pride and illusion to homosexuality. It was not needed and the only reason I can see it was put on the screen was to please specific people. It should have been cut. It gives nothing to the storyline or the movie overall.
There is a moment where Cage is being encouraged by super-fan Javi (Pascal) and he tells Cage he cannot quit acting because he “has a gift that brings light and joy to a dark world. To turn your back on that gift is to turn your back on the entire world.” This is likely one of the best parts of the movie to use as a faith-based lesson to remind us that the only light in a dark world is Christ, not ourselves, talent, or anything we have accomplished. Pascal’s obsession with Cage in the movie cautions us to not make anyone, regardless of their position or fame, gods in our life because that is a slot reserved for the true God and Him alone.
Overall, the movie is an enjoyable film to watch and get a few laughs, provides a decent amount of life lessons and faith lessons that one can use with others, but certainly not Cage’s best work. It’s also a great reminder to not take ourselves so seriously.
The R rating is well deserved because of the large amount of foul language, scenes of drug use, along with some sexual references.