UFP Film Club Film Review – The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

UFP Film Club Film Review – The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
by Justin King (UFP Film Club volunteer)
Can I ask if you can think of many films where actors have a film based on themselves and we follow them for 90 mins plus? There arent many that springs to mind.There’s the two Takeshi Kitano films he made about himself (Takeshi’s (2005) and glory to the film maker! (2007). However I haven’t seen either of these two mentioned films but there’s only two I have seen and can really compare – The Unbearable Weight of a Massive Talent and the creatively ambitious and kooky Being John Malcovich (1999). JCVD (2008), a film about 90’s action star Jean-Claude Van Damme, a struggling actor who’s trying to get custody of his daughter whilst balancing tax issues, has a similar theme and premise to the Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. JCVD had really good self reflection on an actor that was way past his peak. In some ways the Unexpected Weight of Massive Talent follows JCVD in that same vein (father, self righteousness and money issues) but this film loses its way after the first scene.
They set this film up to cater to Con air fans, basically me. Con air is still one of my favourite films ever made and to kick this film off with Con air!  Yes, Ticking boxes!
We then catch up with Nic Cage (played by Nicolas Cage) who is struggling to find new film roles and he has a previous version of himself (Nicky) that talks to him, almost reminded me of Elvis from True Romance (1993) but this alternate imaginary version of Nic Cage is truly wacky and over the top.with his persona. Nicky forms the part of Nic Cage that is suppressed and is the form of himself he would love to project in public but he’s now responsible with a 16 year old child he needs to support. He can’t be fun loving and reckless anymore and that’s portrayed by his alter ego.
Pedro Pascal from Netflix TV Show Narcos and Kingsman: The Golden Circle (2017) decides he wants to be a Nicolas Cage super fan and entertains him at his villa In Majorca, Spain. We then have the sudden involvement of the CIA which completely ruins the film. Especially when Nic Cage calls them up on their outrageous story but still goes along with their plan. This aspect of the film made no sense, got tiresome very quickly and effected the overall story of a bromance. Considering what happens later on in the movie, it just felt farfetched and redundant.
It’s a shame because this film had a good story, charm and a solid performance from Nicolas Cage and Oedro Pascal. Overall it lacked emotion and a truly compelling story.
If you haven’t seen JCVD, make an effort to watch that and this Nic Cage film, along with Being John Malcovich just to get to grips with this concept of self referential/meta films, it’s basically turned into its own genre now!
Just remembered, This is the End (2013), starring Seth Rogan, James Franco, Jonah Hill and many others in which all actors involved play exaggerated versions of themselves, worth waiting around for Channing Tatum, that’s all I’m saying!

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