Critic’s Rating : 3.5 / 5
The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent Movie Review : A coming of Cage bromance for all ages
REVIEW:Within the first 10 minutes of the film, you witness a Nicolas Cage fangirl being kidnapped while she’s enjoying one of his movies on a TV set. Next: Nicolas Cage, posing as Hollywood star Nick Cage (basically, himself), is evidently going through a rough patch in his career and his personal life. His alter-ego, modelled on one of his younger avatars from his movie, Wild At Heart, continues to remind him that he’s a movie star, and not an actor that he’s trying to be. His psychiatrist asserts that he works too much and his ex-wife and daughter (Sharon Horgan and Lily Mo Sheen) believe he’s too occupied with himself to let the attention veer towards anyone else. He loses out on a role that he was eager to lay his hands on.
In short, Nick Cage’s life is on a slippery slope with monetary and emotional debts piling on. At this juncture, he accepts an offer to pay a visit to his fan, Javi (Pedro Pascal) in Spain on his birthday for a million-dollar fee. What kicks off from this point is a pleasant and unlikely bromance between Nick Cage and Javi which takes a serious turn when the CIA gets involved and asks Cage to help them nab an international drug lord, presumed to be Javi. This lands Javi and Cage in a mess. How Cage pulls himself, his ex-wife and daughter (both fictional characters created for the fictitious Nick Cage in this movie), and Javi out of this sticky situation forms the climax.
Although Nicolas Cage was seen acting opposite himself in Adaptation, this movie, co-written and directed by Tom Gormican, does something very different. It largely invests in an unlikely friendship between Pascal and Cage’s characters, which turns the proceedings into a pleasant buddy comedy. These men belong to such diametrically different worlds, and yet, there’s something extremely likable about their camaraderie and the kind of bond they kindle over movies and life experiences.
Instead of taking a self-indulgence route, this film chooses to thrive on the bromance between a fan and a star without making the proceedings nauseatingly narcissistic. On the contrary, it’s all laced with well-timed humour and some action, too.
Nick Cage and his alter-ego form a really small part of this drill. More attention has been paid on depicting Nick Cage as a character who is conflicted internally about where he sees himself going – at one lowly point, he even decides to quit acting altogether. The screenplay smartly infuses straight-faced humour and sarcasm using timely references to Cage’s films like Paddington 2, Con Air, Mandy, Moonstruck, The Croods 2, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and Face/Off among others. Pablo Pascal’s character Javi is the sort of fan every star would secretly love to have – which is again spotlighting the character-build-up.
The film blends elements of a Hollywood insider haha-fest, a spy thriller and an adult bromance into a funny and tastefully written script. Even though these ingredients are hard to imagine together in one pot, the result works wonderfully on-screen, thanks to the chemistry between Pascal and Cage, and their well-etched world in the film that thrives on its own kind of rulebook.
On the flip-side, the satellite characters, including Sharon Horgan and Tiffany Hadish (the CIA operative in the film instructing Cage) have limited material to chew on, with most of the screen-time dedicated to the boy brigade. The runtime feels a tad sluggish towards the climax, especially because you can somewhat predict where this one’s going to really end.
To sum up, this meta-comedy is a joy ride for those who’re chest-thumping Nicolas Cage fans. The rest may go back with a list of films to watch, which will eventually turn them into Nicolas Cage fans.