Superstar actor Nicholas Cage is back on the big screen with the new meta-comedy The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. And this time, the cultural phenomenon takes center stage in the role for which he was born – himself.
Cage plays a fictionalized version of himself as part of an all-star cast that also includes Pedro Pascal (Narcos, The Mandalorian), Sharon Horgan (Catastrophe), and Neil Patrick Harris (Gone Girl). The film had its world premiere at the South by Southwest festival in Texas in March and received mostly positive reviews from critics.
What is the unbearable weight of enormous talent all about?
The synopsis for the film reads: “Unfulfilled and faced with financial ruin, actor Nick Cage accepts a $1 million offer to attend a wealthy fan’s birthday party. Things take a totally unexpected turn when a CIA agent recruits Cage for an unusual mission. He takes on the role of a lifetime and soon finds himself channeling his most iconic and beloved characters to save himself and those he loves.”
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It begins with Cage living in a hotel, separated from his wife Olivia (Horgan) and hated by his teenage daughter Addy – played by Lily Mo Sheen. After he decides to take the fee to appear at Javi Gutierrez’s (Pascal) party, the CIA informs him that the billionaire plutocrat is a dangerous cartel mobster – and Cage is asked to use his privileged access to take him down.
Is the movie real?
The film is pure fiction, but has been described as a ‘meta-comedy’ because of its self-awareness and self-referential style. Directed by Tom Gormican, who also wrote the script with Ghosted collaborator Kevin Etten, the name checks several of Cage’s past films — while continuing with memorable quotes.
A Hollywood legend, Cage has been described as one of the best actors of his generation — but he’s also been criticized for playing a role to pay for his lifestyle — including purchasing a $250,000 dinosaur skull at auction. This contradiction has earned him cult status — and The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent shows he’s in on the joke.
When will it be released?
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent hits UK cinemas from Friday, April 22. The running time is 1 hour and 46 minutes.