Nicolas Cage is a man of a million faces, an Oscar winner who has spawned countless memes and even stolen the Declaration of Independence, but his greatest achievement? Getting inside his own head, to play himself in The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.
Coming to Netflix (one of the best streaming services) on the 12th of June, this is essential viewing for any Cage fan, so around 12 billion human beings. The plot follows a burned-out Cage being hired to attend Majorcan billionaire Javi’s (The Last of Us’ Pedro Pascal) birthday party. Nick is grumpy and angsty in all the best ways until he discovers a mutual love of cinema (and Paddington 2) with his host. But where has Javi’s money come from?
For me, the brilliance stems from the fact that I’m still not quite sure Cage understands the joke. I don’t know where Nick Cage stops and Nick Cage the character begins, but whatever he’s doing it works. Critics and audiences both love this movie with an 87% Critic score and 87% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes, proving it’s great as a popcorn flick and for film buffs.
If you thought Adaptation was meta, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is Cage’s most fourth wall-busting movie yet. Full of references to Cage’s unique filmography, and even a room full of props from his movies (including his iconic golden gun from Face Off) this is a more thoughtful movie than it has any right to be. Pascal, in particular, has a pathos and likeability that belies his character’s typecasting as a wacky billionaire and he pairs very well with the man himself.
Originally released in cinemas and currently only available to purchase on Prime Video, I will certainly be watching it again on the 12th of June, perhaps in a marathon of some of his other classics. God bless Nick Cage, a movie like this could only work with him.