The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is an unbearable waste of Nicolas Cage

But the fun and the games themselves… my goodness. The mere fact that the real Nicolas Cage appears in this scenario drives the two CIA agents down there insane, played by a disappointing Ike Barinholtz and a totally underused Tiffany Haddish. They swap movie titles like we’re just playing cage bingo. “Nic Cage from Moonstruck! No, I raise you with Con Air and Face/Off! Wait, didn’t he do the lead voice in The Croods 2?”

This is almost the actual dialogue. Essentially, it’s like The Simpsons comic book guy reciting highlights from Cage’s IMDb page, then whipping out his phone to play clips while he digs you in the ribs.

One of the few Cage films not credited is Adaptation (2002), perhaps because there’s no hope of referencing that film’s meta-malarkey — Cage played both a version of blocked screenwriter Charlie Kaufman and his fictional, idiotic twin brother Donald – without getting hopelessly tangled.

However, this film is very similar to a low-IQ version of a Kaufman idea; in fact it even makes it donalds Ideas look good. It devolves into totally routine act three chases and Cage’s own daughter (Lily Sheen) being kidnapped by gangsters simply because those are the elements everyone’s favorite Cage films, especially the beloved Con Air, are supposed to have.

In the midst of all this, the other actors (including playing Sharon Horgan as the fictional ex-wife) often look stumped as to what to do. A sense of “Is that it?” pervades. Even as fan-worship, it has an amusing insincerity, or perhaps you could say it’s superficial worship: mere lip-service to the Cage cult.

Of course, it prompts him to roar a few times, and he fittingly parodies a full-throated Cage wig — the kind you can imagine him ad librating humor-autograph fiends. With the filmmakers high-fiving almost tangibly between these takes, it’s no surprise they end up with what has to be one of the star’s most grueling performances. As this zoo exhibit treats, he is not unleashed to express himself creatively. He’s locked up.

15 Cert, 107 min. In cinemas Friday, April 22

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/films/0/unbearable-weight-massive-talent-review-unbearable-waste-nicolas/ The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is an unbearable waste of Nicolas Cage


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