Massive Talent |

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Once upon a time, there was Nicolas Cage (Nicholas Cage) a real star, starred in blockbusters, won an Oscar for best actor. But now there is hardly anything left of this shine. Even if the actor is still passionate about his job, he has not been offered any major or at least interesting roles for a long time. The relationship with his ex-wife Olivia (Sharon Horgan) and their daughter Addy (Lily Sheen) used to be better. Given the lack of alternatives, Cage therefore accepts an offer from eccentric billionaire Javier Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal) a: If he performs at his birthday party, he should receive one million US dollars. What was intended as an annoying part-time job soon turns out to be much more. Ironically, Gutierrez is said to be a dangerous gangster and Cage is supposed to blow him up for the CIA…

A star gone astray

Nicolas Cage is one of those actors who, after a long and varied career, fell into insignificance and from then on kept their heads above water with concoctions that would have been flattered to be called B-movies. But despite his relegation from the first division, he somehow always played in his own league. For example, while Bruce Willis and John Cusack In every scene you can see how bored they are in the cheap productions, Cage took even the dumbest strips as a life’s work and enhanced them with his manic play. The cult actor also gained sympathy points through his decision to repeatedly act in his own films. If Mandy, Pig, Willy’s Wonderland or The color from space – among all the rubbish one always finds unusual titles, for which one forgives all the shameful deeds.

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Especially since he met his fate with a lot of self-mockery, at least that’s the conclusion one draws from Massive Talent can pull. In the action comedy, he plays a fictionalized version of himself who, like the original, struggles with shoddy assignments – if he gets them at all. The story about the super fan, who seems to be involved in criminal activities, is of course completely made up. So are all the supporting characters. For example, Cage walked down the aisle five times. But Olivia wasn’t there. There are of course plenty of allusions and references to “real” life, including the hit Con Air. That’s more of a case of fanservice than an attempt to talk about the actual career of the actor.

Wonderfully self-deprecating espionage satire

There’s a lot of humor involved when Cage is kidding himself and playing with his image. For example, the scenes in which his character is confronted with his younger, wild self are beautiful. Works at the same time Massive Talent also as a satire on spy films. Basically tell director Tom Gormican and his co-author Kevin Etten the classic story of an ordinary person who is suddenly drawn into a dangerous adventure and must do everything possible to avoid getting caught in the middle. The difference: This ordinary person is a Hollywood star and the antagonist is his biggest fan. That’s a constellation that you don’t necessarily see every day in this genre.

It also works very well, which is largely due to the acting duo. When Cage and Pedro Pascal perform together, no eye stays dry as both enjoy this absurd scenario. In any case, the ensemble is a great strength. While not everyone gets really much to do – the roles of Tiffany Haddish and Ike Barinholtz at the CIA are rather small, not to mention various guest appearances – but they all add to the fun in their own way. Massive Talent is not a pure nonsense comedy that rests solely on its content gimmick, but also tries again and again to bring some heart into the silliness something on the subject of friendship.

Likeable despite weaknesses

The film has a bit of a hard time landing at the end. Massive Talent wants to be an action film after all and doesn’t really know in which direction it’s all supposed to go. Some scenes, which should actually be exciting, get bogged down a bit. Nevertheless, the double comeback of Nicolas Cage is worth seeing, for the ensemble as well as the setting. And of course it’s incredibly likeable how a fallen star plays his heart out here and it’s not always quite clear on which level we’re going. It is a pity that the comedy, which was acclaimed at the premiere at the South by Southwest Festival 2022, was not a great success at the box office. But as the last few years have proven: Nobody can stop a Nicolas Cage.

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OT: „The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent“
Land: USA
Year: 2022
Director: Tom Gormican
Script: Tom Gormican, Kevin Etten
Music: Mark Isham
Camera: Nigel Bluck
Occupation: Nicolas Cage, Pedro Pascal, Sharon Horgan, Lily Sheen, Tiffany Haddish, Ike Barinholtz, Alessandra Mastronardi, Jacob Scipio, Neil Patrick Harris, Paco León

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