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Arts & Culture
KPCW sends its most discerning moviegoers to the movies each week to let you know which films are worth going to, and which are a pass.The Friday Film Review airs after the Noon News at 12:30PM and during The Local View.KPCW Friday Film Reviewers are:Barb BretzRick BroughMark HarringtonLinda JagerLibby Wadman

Friday Film Review--"The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent"

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The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

In his recent appearance at the Egyptian Theater, Dennis Quaid performed an original song whose basic message was, “Don’t call me a legend” because that implies he’s ready for the home, or the grave.

In The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, Nicolas Cage, type-cast as Nick Cage, keeps running into people who think he’s a legend. And that’s the least of his troubles.

Nick is financially strapped. He’s alienated from his family. His filmography for the last few decades consists of a stream of direct-to-video potboilers. And he’s renowned mostly for his ability to pounce on over-ripe dialogue like a dog with a chew toy.

The only paying gig that’s available is an invitation to a birthday party for a Eurotrashy billionaire, Javier Gutierrez, who is a superfan and an aspiring screenwriter. At the last minute, Cage is recruited by some inept CIA agents to spy on Javier, because they suspect he’s the head of a drug cartel and responsible for the kidnapping of a presidential daughter.

On paper, this looks like fun. The movie abounds with Cage-movie references, from The Rock to pictures we’d rather not remember, (Guarding Tess?). The current-day Nick Cage is tormented by his alter ego from the early Nineties, Nicky, a younger, more rodent-like version of himself, costumed from the movie Wild at Heart.

It’s not a new idea for an actor to play an extreme version of himself. Neil Patrick Harris, who pops up here as Nick’s agent, did the same thing in the Harold and Kumar comedies.

The script, by Kevin Etten and the director Tom Gormican, has some astute observations about Hollywood neurosis, desperation and self-delusion.

But the movie is more for Nick fanatics than the general public. And his co-star can’t match Cage’s level of screaming, pants-dropping bravado.

Javier is played by Pedro Pascal, best known probably as The Mandalorian. And you just can’t believe that he’s moonstruck enough to enter into an action-movie bromance with Cage, as the pair exchange tense dialogue and spontaneously jump over cliffs.

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent is a strange piece of work and not for all tastes. But if you make no sudden moves and you “put the bunny back in the box” I’m willing to give it three stars out of five.