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Nicolas Cage satirizes his own narcissism in ‘The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent’

“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” is a thoughtful character piece, trippy meta narrative, action-packed comedy and reflective biopic all in one. (Courtesy of IMDB)
The film was released to theaters in April and is now available to rent on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube and other streaming platforms

Nicolas Cage proves that he is self-aware with his newest film, “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent.” Cage plays a version of himself called Nick Cage. Nick is an actor whose career decline and financial crisis force him to take a job that he is sure will ruin his reputation: a birthday party appearance.

Nick copes by talking to an imaginary version of himself, Nicky, who is a dramatization of real-life Nicolas Cage in his most arrogant and cringeworthy interview promoting “Wild at Heart” on “Wogan” in 1990.

To watch the interview, visit youtube.com/watch?v=Xf3OgWVkzlI.

Through Nick and Nicky’s discussion of their own grandeur, Cage parodies his own real-life narcissism. And as they grapple with the perceived death of their career, audiences are lead to anticipate a scrutinous autobiography with this film.

But the film shifts when it is revealed that the birthday party Nick is attending is for Javi Gutierrez, a man involved in a ruthlessly dangerous cartel who is accused by the CIA of kidnapping a young woman.

The CIA recruits Nick to help with the rescue and he becomes excited about the opportunity to use his nouveau shamanic acting skills to fulfill the real-life hero role.

If this all wasn’t meta enough, Nick, in order to save the girl, must also convince Javi that he wants to stick around and make movie with him. The movie they develop mimics the structure and theme of “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” itself.

Somehow, “The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” is a thoughtful character piece, trippy meta narrative, action-packed comedy and reflective biopic all in one.

The genre bending is representative of Cage’s career. Fans of Cage will love the film because it truly pays homage to his roller coaster of a career. His real-life portfolio, acting methods and style is referenced throughout. But even those who cringe at Cage movies will find humor in the way the film satirizes his vehemence.

“The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent” was released to theaters in April and is now available to rent on Amazon Prime Video, YouTube and other streaming platforms.

Kelsey Percival is the editorial assistant for The Durango Herald and an avowed cinephile. Reach her at kpercival@durangoherald.com.