Nic F’n Cage

The script for Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent seems written specifically to create “those” Nicolas Cage moments, the ones where he’s screaming uncontrollably, ridiculously selling a line, or otherwise being a genuine goofball. That’s the Cage way.

It’s such a grandiose, idiotic concept, yet done with a tremendous smile toward Hollywood’s own nonsense. Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent isn’t shy about mocking bland action cinema, and with Cage playing himself (sort of), there’s a means to avoid becoming the movie it’s satirizing.

Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent isn’t shy about mocking bland action cinema

Great as Cage is, Pedro Pascal steals this meme-generating comedy. He plays an obsessive Cage fan who invites the actor to his island compound, using a birthday to join Cage in an LSD-assisted script writing session, night drinking, parties, and to show off a pricey Nic Cage memorabilia collection.

Pascal’s seemingly generic, drug kingpin-esque persona brings doubts, yet the character is nothing less than wholly earnest in his enthusiasm. The mockery isn’t about typical movie villainy, but those people on the industry’s fringes, trying to get their break by nuzzling up to a major star. Pascal happens to be rich enough to get his opportunity.

On the outskirts, an actual storyline involving the CIA using Cage to infiltrate Pascal’s palace, oftentimes secondary to the Cage-ness of this project. Tiffany Haddish plays her part generally straight, only succumbing to fangirl glee in her earliest scene. That’s enough to present the movie star glamour and ego Cage needs for this part.

Key is Cage doesn’t carry his self-worth into Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. He begins locked out of a hotel, totally broke, and desperate for work. He’s not even confident in his abilities, doubting whether he can use a gun, fight, or even run. It’s Pascal propping Cage up on his pedestal, still grounded as not to lose the successful tone, and absolutely hilarious.

Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent doesn’t cheapen itself, spiting the low-brow premise by sticking to smart dialog and subtle gags. Blinded by the fame before him, Pascal’s wide eyes look wholly genuine, and Cage’s internal doubt create a perfect buddy comedy pairing. Once the guns start firing and cars begin flipping, it somehow all makes sense.

Video

Glazed with an amber push, warmth in the flesh tones creates an appealing visual space. Other primaries have their spots, heftily saturated when at their fullest. It’s dynamic and often quite bold.

Superb contrast isn’t afraid to clip in places. Along with the color grading, overall brightness forms an aggressive visual aesthetic. Black levels don’t miss either, dense, pure, and rich.

A light grain filter doesn’t pose a problem for Lionsgate’s encode. Clarity stays consistent, and that lets the true 4K source shine. Facial definition stands out in medium and close-ups. Exteriors of the island locale resolve foliage galore. Ocean vistas pop from the available resolution, startling in their beauty. The estate hanging on the cliffs is masterful.

Audio

While offering a few moments, Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent stays routine in terms of its Atmos mix. There’s low-end energy generated by the music, and in places, it’s thick. That’s the range’s extent.

Ambiance opportunities are high, yet non-existent. The center channel handles almost everything. Brief action doesn’t adventure outward much at all, spread to the stereos slightly as the rears and heights die out.

Extras

A commentary joins director Tom Gormican and writer Kevin Etten. Deleted scenes bring the pair back to discuss those cuts (optionally). Six short featurettes follow, but the best material comes during a SXSW Q&A panel.

Full disclosure: This Blu-ray was provided to us for review. This has not affected the editorial process. For information on how we handle review material, please visit our about us page to learn more.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
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Movie

Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is made for in-industry laughs and meme makers, but not without a generous, broad comedic spark.

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The following six screen shots serve as samples for our subscription-exclusive set of 37 full resolution uncompressed 4K screen shots grabbed directly from the UHD: