Wanna see Nicolas Cage kiss … Nicolas Cage?
You might not know what you’re in for with “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” a screwy, action-packed romp for grownups that’s focused on, well, Nicolas Cage … or at least what popular opinion often portrays him to be.
This particular self-absorbed Cage is a kind of washed-up actor who will do anything for money, regardless of the quality of script. He gets drunk at his daughter’s birthday party, and demands to be the center of attention by bellowing a lame song he wrote for her, much to the dismay of his daughter and the guests.
His manager is played by the marvelous Neil Patrick Harris, who has quite a deal for Cage. It seems that wealthy fan Javi (Pedro Pascal, “The Mandolorian”) will give Cage $1 million to spend some time with him.
Javi wants to talk about a movie with Cage, who ultimately begins to like Javi – especially after he reveals his affinity for “Paddington 2” (you should see it if you haven’t.)
But then two CIA agents (Tiffany Haddish and Ike Barinholtz) show up, and inform Cage that Javi isn’t the nice guy Cage thinks he is – he’s a violent criminal connected to the cartel, and he’s involved in the kidnapping of the daughter of a Latin American leader.
It’s up to Cage to figure out just who really Javi is, and just how much danger he’s in. In other words, he has to play a spy.
The buddy-movie theme, the notion of a distant dad, and a kidnapping – all of which have become movie cliches – are included in the plot, where they are treated as cliches. This movie acknowledges its audience’s familiarity with movie tropes and with Cage, and never insults its intelligence.
I love the references to other Cage movies, from “Guarding Tess” to the mind-blowing “Mandy.”
This is clever, cage-y fun.
3 ½ stars
Running time: One hour and 46 minutes.
Rated: R for foul language, violence and drug abuse.
At Cinemark, Davenport; Regal, Moline; and Palms 10, Muscatine.
Watch the trailer here.