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‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’: Buddy Cop Movie of My Dreams From Nic Cage & Pedro Pascal

5/5 Golden Guns.

Nic Cage and Pedro Pascal by a pool in the Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, in theaters April 22, asks us an important question: What if Nicolas Cage attended his biggest fan’s birthday party and the two became best friends? And the answer is a wild ride of adventure, Cageisms, and calling back to some of Cage’s best work in the most bizarre and brilliant way.

From writers Tom Gormican and Kevin Etten, the movie is a nonstop laugh riot in a way that feels so wholesome and beautiful that it will make you want to watch Cage and costar Pedro Pascal be best friends for the rest of your life. The movie follows Nick Cage (played by Nic Cage), a once famous actor who is losing his footing and thinking about giving up acting because no one takes him seriously.

In need of money, he takes a job at a birthday party for his biggest fan, Javi (Pedro Pascal), who is a rich man living in Spain. The problem? Nick quickly discovers that Javi has a connection to a crime syndicate and is then brought into the FBI investigation of Javi, despite Cage thinking that his new friend isn’t the kind of man to be a sinister head of a crime syndicate like the one the FBI is describing.

I went into this movie having waited over a year to finally see it. I wanted nothing more than to love it, and I was pleasantly surprised how good this movie was even if I hadn’t felt that way going in. I can often recognize when a movie is just something I’ll love but isn’t that great on its own merits, without that point of view. This is not that case. This movie is brilliant, funny, smart, and a fresh take on comedy and acting in a fun and exhilarating way.

My screening had people cheering for “Nic Motherf**king Cage” in a way that felt like I was in a theme park or watching a huge sporting event. We were just all instantly on board and in love with the story that Gormican and Etten were telling, and it was glorious.

They’re the two best friends that everyone should have

What floored me about The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent was two things, the first being the relationship that was building between Cage and Javi. The two start off with Cage seeing Javi as a paycheck and Javi seeing his idol before him. But as the tension in the film grows, it’s clear that Cage cares more and more for his new friend, despite the FBI telling him that he can’t trust Javi.

He cares for this man who hired him to come to his party because of his acting work, and he doesn’t care what the FBI is telling him. He wants to just be with someone who understands him and his ability in a way that no one else seemingly does, and it’s truly one of the greatest fictional friendships I have seen in recent years. The two are just so happy together, and it’s fun and sweet mixed with action-packed sequences and is a fun rollercoaster from start to finish.

Nicolas Cage, our greatest actor

The second thing that truly was magical to see in this movie was just how good of an actor Nic Cage is. While playing Nick Cage, we watch him separate playing a fictionalized version of himself with how he approaches characters and all the different aspects of acting. Cage, often, gets a bad rap, but I stand by my assessment that Nicolas Cage understands acting in a way that no one else will.

He’s always in the right in every movie he’s in, and it’s more that those on the other side of things don’t know the kind of movie Nic Cage is making. He’s brilliant, and The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent highlights that ability in him.

There’s a reason that movies like Moonstruck and Raising Arizona, or his action films like Face/Off and Con-Air, work. It’s because those directors and writers worked with Cage and knew what he was doing. When movies come out where he feels out of place, it isn’t really ever Cage who sticks out. It’s that the movie doesn’t flow with him as it really should, and that, to me, shows his power of understanding cinema and acting on a completely different level.

And The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent recognizes that and uses it to the film’s advantage in a way that excites you as a fan of Cage and his movies.

Twists and turns


What’s absolutely brilliant about this movie is that you never really know what is coming next, and while it has been revealed that the FBI is trying to take down Javi, Cage never stops thinking that Javi is innocent and uses his ability as an actor to prove he’s right. But more than that, it’s a movie about friendship and love. And Cage’s determination to get answers but prove that Javi isn’t the head of this crime syndicate comes from an instant and deep love for Javi as a person.

The way that Pedro Pascal plays his admiration for Cage is done with such honesty that it truly does feel like a fan getting to meet and work with someone they admire. Pair that with Cage’s performance of a man just trying to find someone who understands him, and this friendship and the trust they spawn with each other is so lovely that when it is revealed that Javi isn’t really the leader of the crime syndicate, you’ll cheer for Cage being right.

Final thoughts

This is a movie I would have dreamt of as a kid—a movie that I want to watch over and over again and talk about for the rest of my life. Do you need to already sort of be a Nic Cage fan going in? Not necessarily. You might miss some of the callbacks to Cage’s work if you’re not, but I believe that the dynamic between Pascal and Cage overpowers that and makes you fall in love with Javi and Nick, and the journey they’re on together.

We should all want to be best friends with Javi and Nick Cage after seeing The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.

(image: Lionsgate)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.