Hollywood

Nic Cage is back with a bang

The Sunday Mail

Film Review
Tinashe Kusema

BEFORE we get into the nitty-gritties of this week’s review, “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent”, I believe a little context is needed.

Nicolas Cage, or simply Nic Cage, has been living under the weight of a massive debt after having lost a large amount of his fortune to a series of bad real estate investments.

He also owed the United States’ Internal Revenue Service (IRS) US$14 million among other debts, yet the 58-year-old American actor still lived a very lavish lifestyle.

Rather than file for bankruptcy, the “Face/Off” star chose to work out his debt by taking a string of bad and low-budget films.

However, that was then.

Cage has since paid a huge chunk of his debt and the feeling in Hollywood and fans around the world is that the old Nic is back!

Cage received glowing reviews for his work in “Pig” (2021) in which he basically pulls a ‘John Wick’ while searching for his beloved swine that gets kidnapped.

However, I am yet to get my hands on the movie, and, as such, can’t really verify how good or bad his performance is in the production.

What I can verify is that “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent”, while a little bonkers, is a really good movie.

It is not really “Con Air”, “Face/Off” or “National Treasure” good but it is a decent movie.

Cage stars as a fictionalised version of himself and we find him down on his luck, searching dearly for that one big break and role that will see him return to A-list status.

When he fails miserably and contemplates retiring, he gets an invite from an eccentric billionaire, and huge Nic Cage fan, Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal) to attend his birthday party and read his movie script.

Cage reluctantly agrees but soon gets embroiled in a case the CIA is building against Gutierrez.

Apparently, Gutierrez is a suspected drug dealer and kidnapper.

The two agents on the case Vivian and Martin Etten (Tiffany Haddish and Ike Barinhotz) coerce Cage into spying on Gutierrez.

They also force him to try and locate evidence on his compound.

The movie shines on several aspects chief being that it has all the hallmarks of a typical Nic Cage film.

There is a lot of yelling and animated gestures.

A younger Cage shows up periodically throughout the movie as a manifestation of his subconscious.

The de-aging technology on display during these scenes is simply out of this world.

Cage is not the only standout performer as Pedro Pascal matches the 58-year-old pound-for-pound.

The chemistry between these two thespians is one of the things that carry the movie.

The two also show an innate grasp of comic timing.

The film is full of Easter eggs of Cage’s previous works that pop up either through dialogue, mild and blatant references.

If I am to have a single gripe about the movie, it is the fact that the comic duo of Haddish and Barinhotz is totally wasted.

While they do get a few scenes to shine, I feel the said acts are too few and far in-between. Here is hoping that this is not a one-off type of deal. We want to see more and more of this Cage.

I will go on and even say that I pray that Cage and Disney manage to settle their differences after which we will finally see the “National Treasure” follow-up movie.

We have been crying out for years.

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