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No one plays Nicolas Cage like Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage’s Special Return, “The Unbearable Weight of Colossal Talent”, not enough meta to be named “Nicolas Cage’s Unusual Return to Self.” But it’s close. The epic comedy is a tribute to the star and his remarkable 40-year career. It’s also a wild attempt to bring back the style of an A-list action-horror blockbuster, which has largely turned to streaming services like Netflix in the last decade, with hopes once again. Witness Cage’s unique brand of magic.

If there’s any actor who can star in both a mindless action movie and an indie lover at the same time, it’s Nicolas Cage.

It was a bold move, trying to lure audiences back to theaters at the end of another Covid wave and when Movies with many stars have struggled to open big even before 2020. But “The Unbearable Weight of Mass Talent” believes that dressing up as an Oscar-winning, indie, character-themed film will appeal to both adults and Teenager. And to be fair, if there’s any actor who can star in both a mindless action movie and an indie lover, it’s Nicolas Cage.

Cage’s career began when he was 15 years old with a small role in the hit teen movie “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” As the grandson of Francis Ford Coppola, this is the only film (until this one) in which he is credited under his name, Nicolas Kim Coppola. By the time of his appearance in “Valley Girl” the following year, he’d changed his nickname to the much more famous Nicolas (or Nic) Cage.

After 1980s films like “The Cotton Club” and “Peggy Sue Got Married,” Cage officially hit an A-list for his role as HI McDunnough in the independent film “raise Arizona” and the romantic lead role in “Moonstruck” ‘, opposite Cher. Memorable roles followed in “Wild at Heart” and “Red Rock West,” as well as box office blockbusters like “Leaving Las Vegas,” “The Rock,” “Con Air,” and “Face/ Off”.

The irony is that while Cage starred in one or two movies a year during the peak of his career in the ’90s, he was in on average seven movies every 12 months right before Hollywood closed in. 2020.

That fulfilling workeven if Cage becomes more famous for memes than acting, promoting “The Unbearable Weight of Mass Talent”. Cage plays Nick Cage, a fictional version of himself. He’s a self-loathing psychopath who can’t seem to land a role; His wife is divorcing him, his teenage daughter can’t stand him and he is swimming in debt after years of living beyond his means. In an effort to get his finances in order, Cage attends the birthday party of billionaire Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal), a super fan of Cage with a script he wants the actor to star in. Unfortunately, upon arrival, Cage learns that Javi is also a suspected drug lord who may have kidnapped a teenage girl, and a CIA agent (Tiffany Haddish) convinces Cage to carry out some espionage. messages in the real world. (Thank goodness Cage got used to doing his own stunts.)

These plots are fun, but the real joy of the film is its 40-year Nic Cage setting.

These plots are fun, but the real joy of the film is its 40-year Nic Cage setting. The film opens with a scene where a pair of characters watch an extended clip from “Leaving Las Vegas”. Its early scenes featured Cage whispering aloud some of his famous monologues and dropping his best lines into the conversation. Meanwhile, other characters debate whether his 1990s fare is higher than 2000s fare or his more recent work, like “The Croods”. Famous props from his films turn up in unexpected, and sometimes expected, places one after another. (For example, Chekhov’s gun in the movie is from “Face / Off”.)

Cage understands what the audience wants – a self-deprecating plea to return – even as he swears he’s never going anywhere. He’s hooked on the film as it transitions from a small-time indie indie to poignant family drama to a high-stakes comedy. Then guns and cars swoop out, and suddenly he switches to action-adventure Nic Cage without missing a beat. It’s almost like he’s winking at the camera: Find you an actor who can do it all!

The unbearable weight of mass talent
Nicolas Cage and Pedro Pascali in “The Unbearable Weight of Mass Talent”.Katalin Vermes / Lionsgate

But Cage doesn’t just play Nick Cage; he also plays his surrogate (or perhaps his surrogate id), Nicky, an ageless CGI version of himself too smooth from “Wild at Heart”. (Nicky is credited as Nicolas Kim Coppola.) Nicky and Nick argue frequently, Nicky yelling that Nick should only get the multimillion-dollar blockbuster roles worthy of his pedigree, while Nick mutters that he just is an actor who wants to enjoy his job and is grateful for the job. It’s a performance that offers a whole new collection of memeable moments.

Cage’s affection for Pascal’s character Javi is also central to the film’s magic. It’s great to see Pascal in a role that clearly shows his face; like Cage, he entered the blockbuster circuit as Genuine Mandalorian (despite wearing a helmet). Also, like Cage, he’s known for his climax moments and the memes that stem from them – google “Pascal Game of Thrones” to find out. Pascal exhibits just enough vulnerability that it’s easy to see the soft man beneath his tough exterior, leaving the audience guessing as to whether he’ll end up being the protagonist or the villain.

It seems unlikely that Cage being Cage would actually be recognized by the award shows, even if the marketing department tried to make that case. But as a way to both return to the megaplex and bring out his full personality in a sizzling two-hour reel, it’s a big deal. It’s a rare movie star that could argue they’ve been an A-lister for four decades, but the unbearable weight of his massive talent never stopped Cage. .

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