“I’m an actor,” declares Nick Cage, within the position of his lifetime, taking part in Nick Cage. “No! You’re a fucking film star, don’t you overlook this!” screams again one other Cage, digitally de-aged to his youthful, Wild At Coronary heart heyday as a roaring ego-phantom model of the actor (playfully credited as ‘Nicky Kim Coppola’). We’ve seen Cage performing reverse himself earlier than (to Oscar-nominated acclaim in Adaptation), and we’ve seen him frolicking in a meta playground, too (Adaptation, once more). However Tom Gormican’s The Insufferable Weight Of Huge Expertise — title of the 12 months, no arguments — catapults all of it to a complete new degree.
The film gained’t disappoint Cage aficionados. It opens with a clip from Con Air, comprises tongue-in-cheek nods to The Croods 2, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and Guarding Tess, and incorporates a scene filled with Cage-flavoured props, from Mandy’s chainsaw to the dual gold weapons from Face/Off.
Cage himself has by no means been extra recreation. It’s one factor to eat a cockroach (as he did for Vampire’s Kiss); it’s a complete different to chew up and spit out your personal profession with an accepting self-awareness of each criticism levelled at you (“You appear to be working on a regular basis,” his therapist notes) and switch it right into a full-blown comedy.
The true double act right here is just not Nick and Nicky, however Cage and Pascal.
However what lies past the movie’s central self-efface/off conceit? You’d be forgiven for anticipating a little bit of an indulgent binge, with little extra to supply than the first-world-problem tussle between Cage’s fragile value as an “actor” and his diminishing stature as “a film star”. Nevertheless, whereas the overarching plot knowingly pings between the Cagey extremes of grownup, character-driven drama and cojone-swinging motion bombast, what actually emerges is a surprisingly candy and affecting buddy comedy.
The true double act right here is just not Nick and Nicky (in reality, Gormican properly holds again on the showy interior dialogues), however Cage and Pascal, as two guys from very totally different worlds who kind an inconceivable bond amid high-stakes circumstances. Whereas Cage leans into his amplified, unfiltered persona (“I ought to at all times belief my shamanistic instincts as a thespian!”), Pascal nimbly balances an interesting, starry-eyed guilelessness with underlying shades of risk. They gel properly, and the movie is stronger after they share the body than when it’s dabbling in Clouseau-esque slapstick (Cage’s first foray into spycraft) or letting the bullets fly and the automobiles crash.
The supporting characters are slightly thinly drawn, with Sharon Horgan eye-rolling for Eire as Nick’s ex-wife and Tiffany Haddish exasperatedly instructing Cage by way of an earpiece. And though the story’s ‘uncared for household’ thread skirts mawkishness — sure, there’s a hard-to-relate-to teenage daughter (Lily Mo Sheen) — it does land someplace extra feel-good than feel-annoyed, thanks in no small half to Gormican’s evident affection for Paddington 2 (don’t ask, simply watch).
It’s an often patchy affair, then — however given Cage’s personal résumé, that appears oddly applicable. And, as we mentioned, if you happen to’re acquainted with that résumé, there’s lots right here to make you go, “Whoooah!”