𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐔𝐧𝐛𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝗪𝐞𝐢𝐠𝐡𝐭 𝐨𝐟 𝐌𝐚𝐬𝐬𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐓𝐚𝐥𝐞𝐧𝐭 is the most Nic Cage movie Nic Cage has ever Nic Caged. While bold enough to descend into his own meme status and glad to make a complete ass of himself, his movie is also a multi-layered patchy affair about how film, in general, can bring people together for better and or for worse.
Writer/director Tom Cormican is aware of how fairly by-the-numbers the project is, rather slipshod in its essence compared to other artistic works but he’s also self-aware of how ridiculously zany Nic and his personality is so he makes sure that, regardless of the slippery slope, the film never loses sight of its own nutty premise. Playing up to and against expectations, similar to Cage himself, this spy-comedy, action comedy, bromance keeps the wheels spinning without losing focus of its script despite its obvious pitfalls.
Nicolas Cage manages to give the film a unique twist as a fictional version of himself. He shows once again that only he can play himself in his own….idiosyncratic way; barely edging out an equally ecstatic Pedro Pascal and Lily Mo Sheen while overshadowing almost everyone else. The humor mostly boils down to the ridiculous number of references and zany nods to a dozen of Cages flicks and many of the laughs are derived from recognizing these, music is fine under no circumstances, basic cinematography does do the job firmly and to the letter to make the visual aesthetic more than presentable, scope and scale of the project varies out without jeopardizing the ever-rapid shifting tone and while the production design is standardly believable, it’s the ambience surrounding everything that encompasses so much self-irony into many of these locations as well as the situations that Nic has been in over the years, contributing to Nic’s growth in this movie and it is impalpable.
And speaking of growth, that is more or less the underbelly of this movies story: touching on the value of human connection and how powerful and inspirational your art can be as well as destructive. Growing beyond using Nic Cages name just to poke fun at him, it idolizes him as an embodiment on everything cinema can be while deconstructing mainstream celebrity status and dedicated, hard-working artistry in both the public eye and behind the scenes.
It is a very predictable movie at the end of the day, however, as the script, physically and metaphorically, already lays out who’s going to be the good guys and who isn’t as well as telegraph certain cliches and plot points early on to lay out the rest of the films structure. But one, that can technically be taken as hidden exposition since the wit and self-depreciation of its own meta narrative presentation speaks for itself and two, I didn’t find myself caring all that much.
Talk about a true one man show.