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The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent review: Enjoyable and brazenly self-aware comedy

EntertainmentThe Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent review: Enjoyable and brazenly self-aware comedy

If you’ve followed the prolific hit-and miss career of the Oscar winner-turned-cult action hero, this alleged Miles Davis quote will strike a chord.

Cage, playing a lightly fictionalised version of himself, has great fun sending up his own career in this joyfully silly film.

He plays Nick Cage, a debt-laden movie star famed for his raging ego and his “nouveau shamanic” style of acting.

After failing to land a “dream role”, he’s visited by his disappointed younger self (Cage in a Wild At Heart wig) who attacks his later career choices using dubious jazz metaphors.

After getting hammered at the birthday party of his teenage daughter (Lily Sheen), his long-suffering ex-wife (Sharon Horgan) gives him another talking to.

Nick decides to retire but, in true action movie tradition, decides to take one last job to pay off his debts.

Super-rich super-fan Javi (Pedro Pascal) has offered to pay Cage $1million to appear at his birthday party in Mallorca.

Cage thinks he’ll be gone in 60 seconds but ends up in a face/off with another tired movie plot. Two CIA agents (Tiffany Haddish and Ike Barinholtz) suspect palm-oil dealer Javi is really the arms dealer responsible for the kidnapping of a politician’s daughter.

Will Nick go undercover and free the girl from Javi’s sprawling mansion?

This is a deciding moment not just for Nick but for those expecting a follow-up to his brainy meta-comedy Adaptation. Instead, director and co-writer Tom Gormican keeps the tone light as a touching but very funny and surprisingly sweet bromance develops between Javi and Nick.

Showing he doesn’t take himself too seriously after all, perhaps Cage has been playing up to his crazy reputation all along.


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