Tiffany Haddish (left) snaps a selfie with Nicolas Cage as she works undercover in “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” (Photo Credit: Karen Ballard/Lionsgate).


No matter how bright a star shines, that shine eventually dims when a new day emerges.

Celebrities enjoy the great life during their ascendancy.

But what goes up, always goes down.

In “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” Nick Cage (Nicolas Cage, “Snowden”) awkwardly handles the roller coaster of stardom in a movie that becomes a gumbo mix of various film genres (ingredients) and a hilarious comeback for an aging star.

The movie begs the question, what do you do when you have aged out of your profession in the eyes of many people?

In hip-hop, some fans do not believe that rappers should continue rapping into their forties and fifties no matter how sharp their skills are.

Despite the skills and the massive talent, a time comes when a celebrity is not as box office as they once were.

In “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” Nick Cage is no longer a movie star, nor does he necessarily want to be a big star.

Nick wants to be known as a serious actor and he wants to portray characters with depth, regardless of if it becomes a huge box office success.

Nick has even gotten so bad that he begins to harass filmmakers for roles that they do not even think he should have to read for.

Nevertheless, that does not stop him from showing the filmmakers what he can bring to their projects.

As a result of his unsolicited and impromptu auditions, Nick loses out on film roles that he might have gotten had he just shut the heck up.

Despite the setback, Nick vows to only take serious roles or retire from acting.

Although he threatens to retire, his agent Richard Fink (Neil Patrick Harris) does not quite hear Nick’s retirement plan because of alleged bad cell phone reception in the hills.

The only problem with that retirement plan is that the dude is in extreme debt, to the tune of $600,000.00

In “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” Richard informs Nick that he can make seven figures for showing up to the birthday party of a rich fan named Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal, “The Equalizer 2”).

But unbeknownst to Nick, Javi is more than just a rich fan.

In “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” Javi is also a screenwriter who believes his ticket to Hollywood depends on Nick starring in his motion picture.

Unfortunately, working with Javi presents more problems than just seeing eye to eye creatively.

Javi’s family has a checkered past.

And the CIA has begun looking into the family because of a bold crime that will shake up the political scene in Catalina.

As a result, Nick goes from washed up movie star to CIA operative.

Couple that with the fact that Nick is going through a divorce with his wife Olivia (Sharon Horgan, “Military Wives”) and has an understandably complicated relationship with his teenage daughter, Addy Cage (Lily Mo Sheen).

While all those problems in Nick’s life could cause some drama and stress, it does not cause stress for moviegoers in the extremely hilarious “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.”

The only stress moviegoers might have watching “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” is what category to place the movie in because it does not fit nicely into just one, or two or maybe even three.

“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” is a comedy.

“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” is a crime film.

It is a gangster film.

It is a family drama.

It is a movie about the developing friendship between two kindred spirits.

Thanks to CIA operatives Vivian (Tiffany Haddish) and Martin (Ike Barinholtz) it is a spy film.

The brazenness of some of the characters makes “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” a suspense film.

And the LSD-influenced escapes and car chases make “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Success” an action film.

Not to sound redundant, “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Success” is a gumbo because of all those ingredients.

And because the film is great and not disgusting, gumbo is a much more apropos adjective for “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” than goulash or succotash, which just consists of whatever junk one finds in their Frigidaire or cabinet thrown into a pot and given a name.

A gumbo has good ingredients like shrimp, sausage, crabs, crawfish, etc.

And because of its uniqueness and originality, “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent,” has the recipe for box office success and critical acclaim.

Although true and serious actor definitely describes Cage, it is always enjoyable to see serious actors not taking themselves so seriously, especially as they become more seasoned in life.

Acting legends like Morgan Freeman and Robert DeNiro have enjoyed another chapter in their illustrious careers by portraying comical actors as senior citizens, and Cage one ups both with his latest movie.
Furthermore, Cage makes fun of cinema as a whole, not just his cinematic career and future.

Unfortunately, “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” contains some corny moments.

But corny is O.K. if that is the aim of the movie.

It is not to be taken seriously.

It is to be enjoyed as pure entertainment.

And the movie does not disappoint in the entertainment department.

Cage’s dedication to pure entertainment and to his purpose will ensure that his shine is always bright because it does not take movie star status to brighten up the world.







Todd A. Smith
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