The Unbearable Weight of Huge Talent Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?
The famous actor in the past Nic Cage (Nicolas Cage) at the moment, as they say, has completely fallen out of the cage. He hasn’t starred in major projects for a long time, his financial affairs are in a deplorable state, he is divorcing his wife Olivia (Sharon Horgan), because of which Nick had to move to an expensive hotel, and he has big problems with mutual understanding with his daughter Eddie (Lily Mo Shin), who considers her father a selfish and narcissistic asshole.
However, Nick does not give up. He continues to beat the thresholds of Hollywood studios, arranges impromptu auditions with all sorts of fashionable directors, but all in vain – he does not receive any significant roles.
Nick’s agent Richard Fink (Neil Patrick Harris), who is aware of the actor’s plight, invites Nick to fly to Mallorca to be the guest of honor at the birthday party of millionaire Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal). Gutierrez is ready to shell out as much as a million dollars for the visit of a movie star – albeit one that has already sunk, which can somehow improve Nick’s financial situation: he already owes more than six hundred thousand to the hotel alone.
Nick at first categorically refuses – he’s not some kind of trained circus seal to entertain moneybags – but after a while he realizes that, in fact, he has nowhere to go, and he was put out of the hotel, so Cage has to go to Mallorca .
At first, everything went well for him there: Xavi turned out to be a very nice and benevolent person, he is a sincere fan of Cage, and besides, he loves Nick’s favorite film, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. True, Nick’s agent hid from the actor the fact that Gutierrez wrote an action movie script, in which he hoped Cage would star, but Nick suggested that Javi write a new script together, and their joint adventures.
But then Cage was contacted by people from the CIA, who said that Gutierrez is a large illegal arms dealer who had just kidnapped Maria Delgado, the daughter of the president of Catalonia, where new elections are to be held soon. Xavi hopes that the president will not go to the polls because of this, and then they will be able to push a more loyal person in Catalonia with whom Gutiérrez can negotiate. And the CIA agents ask Nic Cage to help them free Maria.
Nicolas Cage is an example of an actor who quickly became stars and even superstars (his fees reached $ 20 million in “Gone in 60 Seconds”, “Windtalkers” and “National Treasure”) – but he cannot stay at this level. was able to, and instead of trying to reclaim his career and be more careful with his choice of roles, Cage chose, following the example of another superstar, Bruce Willis, to successfully ruin his karma and star in straight-to-video lame crafts of lame studios, working on the principle of “five old women – already a ruble.
By the way, for some reason, in some reviews they write that it was Cage who was the first superstar to be published, who began acting in all sorts of junk, where he was invited for the name on the poster and where all the shooting for the actor usually took only a few days, but this absolutely not! Willis has been filming like this since 2002 – all sorts of “Real West”, “Great Champion” and other nightmares with ratings from 3 to 5 units began just then.
Cage, until his last relatively successful film National Treasure 2: Book of Secrets in 2007, had no obvious film slag, although then continuous failures followed, such as The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, What Lies Behind and Ghost Rider 2. And only since 2014, the sub-parliamentary films “Dying Light”, “Anger”, “The Leftovers”, “The Fugitive” and other crap have gone, in which he has been filming over the past eight years, giving out five films a year, and only the recent for some reason, the indie drama “Pig”, which could even be watched, fell out of this list.
And now, here’s this new film from a little-known director (aka screenwriter) who has directed only one completely passable film before, and this new film has a high rating of 7.2 on IMDB and a high rating on Rotten Tomatoes – 87%. And, of course, it was interesting for me to watch this picture in order to understand whether Cage could somehow get out of the career bottom in which he had been for the last eight years.
From reading materials on the history of the film, it turned out that the idea for this picture came from the director and screenwriter Tom Gormican. He wrote the script, this script was included in the famous “Black List” in 2019, after which Gormican dared to propose the project to Cage himself.
Nicholas, starting to read the script, at first angrily refused, because he thought that they were just mocking him, but Tom knew how to find an approach to the star: he explained to Cage in every possible way that not only was he not bullied here, but quite the contrary – the film will be imbued with love for him, his roles and his work.
Cage fell for it, nevertheless read the script and finally agreed to act. True, initially he considered that the character of Xavi was written in the plot much more interestingly and even suggested that Xavi, a big fan of the actor Cage, be played by him, Cage, but after certain edits to the plot, cutting down the role of Xavi and expanding the role of Cage, as well as invitations to the role of Javi Pedro Pascal, who is really a fan of Cage, Nicholas still managed to persuade him to play himself.
In the original script, Nick Cage was supposed to be chasing Quentin Tarantino with a request to give Nick a role in the director’s new film, but Cage himself asked to replace Tarantino with director David Gordon Green, for whom Cage once starred in a well-received low-budget crime drama ” Joe” 2013. Well, also the “tired fat CIA agent” (as he was described in the script) was replaced with a fighting African American played by Tiffany Haddish.
So what did they get as a result? What is it – a meeting of Cage with himself, as in “Adaptation”, where Cage played Charlie Kaufman, and a meeting both with a young, star-studded and arrogant self, and with a current one – a “downed pilot” and a star that has long been out of circulation?
Well, in a way, it is, especially since a young Cage from the 1990s appears here from time to time, who reproaches the current Cage: Nicholas said that the clothes for this character were taken from his rather scandalous interview on the show “Wogan” as part of the “Wild at Heart” promotion.
The current Cage also meets himself here, although, of course, it emphasizes the fact that the cinematic Nick Cage is not the real Nicolas Cage, but certain aspects of the life of the current Cage are clearly reflected here. By the way, in the credits, the name of the actor who played Nic Cage is indicated as Nicholas Kim Coppola – this is the real name of Cage, who, as you know, is the nephew of Francis Ford Coppola.
The plot of the film does not shine with special originality: an actor who thinks over the plot of his future film with someone while already acting in this film – this has happened many times, and here the excellent old film “Magnificent” with Jean Paul Belmondo immediately comes to mind.
However, it all looks fun and funny, the action unfolds more or less dynamically, there are many good cinematic jokes, and it’s also pleasing that the daughter of the Catalan president was still saved, so the future of this wonderful Spanish autonomous community now seems cloudless.
Nicolas Cage portrays Nicolas Cage quite decently, demonstrating good self-irony, which it was very difficult to suspect him of having before, and there are several scenes here that could clearly hurt him earlier, of course, a highly developed sense of self-importance. But here Cage is not afraid to make fun of himself, and that’s great.
Pedro Pascal is clearly trying to stay in the shadow of Cage and diligently does not stick out his bright charisma, but his character turned out to be very nice: Pascal, as always, is very good, and the pair he and Cage turned out to be excellent. In addition, I must reassure the most respectable public – Xavi is still good, he did not kidnap the daughter of the Catalan president, so I’m sure that he will not be made persona non grata in Catalonia.
The tsereushniks performed by Tiffany Haddish and Ike Barinholtz greatly overplayed and even comicalized, but this fit well with the general style of the picture, and besides, there were quite a few of them here.
In general, I liked it, even very much. It doesn’t pretend to anything, but it’s light, funny and ironic film, in which Cage was not afraid to make fun of himself.
After viewing, I read a few Russian reviews of this film. (The picture was supposed to be released in Russia in April of this year, but, it is clear why, it never came out.) Interestingly, this film is mostly criticized. For what? They say that it is too light, there is little respect and respect for the greatest actor of our time (I’m serious), insufficient penetration into the subtle spiritual world of a brilliant creator (I’m serious). And that in general – this is not the best movie for real fans of Cage.
Well I do not know. The thing is, I was never a real fan of Cage, and I certainly didn’t think he was an outstanding actor. He had good roles, as, for example, in “The Magnificent Scam”, there were good roles (in the same “Eight millimeters”, “No Face” or “Adaptation”), they were just so-so, like in this “Lord of War” . I don’t remember any outstanding roles.
Maybe that’s why I wasn’t expecting much from this movie. It was just interesting for me to see a movie with a high rating and at the same time with Cage in the lead role: the last time I saw this was in 2007. And then it turned out that it is quite watchable – well, nice.
So if you are a fan of Cage and consider him a brilliant creator, then it is better not to watch this film, it will most likely disappoint you. And if Cage is just a long-extinct star for you, then this picture is unlikely to irritate your optic nerve. In what we with the Bagel also subscribe.
PS Actor Pedro Pascal (Game of Thrones, Narcos, Kingsman: The Golden Ring) plays a Spaniard here, but in fact he is Chilean by origin.
The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
Director: Tom Gormican Cast: Nicolas Cage, Pedro Pascal, Tiffany Haddish, Sharon Horgan, Paco Leon, Neil Patrick Harris, Lily Mo Sheen, Alessandra Mastronardi, Jacob Scipio, Katrin Vankova
Action comedy, USA, 2022, 105 min.