The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent Image

The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent

By Bobby LePire | April 22, 2022

My introduction to Pascal was not The Mandolorian but rather the wretchedness that is Wonder Woman 1984. He plays one of the villains and is terrible in the role, not that h had much to work with considering the lousy directing and heinous script. Still, it took quite some convincing for me to come around on the actor and final binge the Star Wars show… and it’s great. More to the point, he is excellent in the titular role. But even his performance in that fan-favorite series did not prepare me for how utterly delightful and sweet Pascal is throughout.

Cage and Pascal share such great chemistry that one could easily watch them go back and forth for three hours. With the greatest ease, the actor vacillates from charming to awkward to intense, sometimes all within the same scene. His choices, like the sheepish way Javi asks Nick about the screenplay he (Javi) wrote, keep the emotions at the forefront, ensuring success on every level.

Gormican’s direction of The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent is fantastic. He walks a tonal tightrope which is no easy feat. The comedic action-drama vacillates wildly from drama to comedy to action but never loses sight of the emotional core. Somehow the director keeps all the plates spinning, as proved in an early reveal of Nick in therapy. There’s an emotional truth to the anxieties the character discusses, but there’s also a huge laugh stemming from Addy’s reveal in the room.

Cage and Pascal share such great chemistry…”

When things heat up in the third act, Gormican handles the action just as well. The film goes an anti-Hot Fuzz route in this respect. In that classic, the joke is how the leads’ love of over-the-top action helps them in the end. Here, the director constantly sets up for something utterly outlandish to happen but constantly undercuts those moments, keeping the proceedings as realistic as possible. Javi and Nick trip on L.S.D. and then discuss how their movie should include a tripping sequence full of warping effects. But, that scene, set in a car as they drive to town, has none of those effects. At every turn, the possibility of going truly bonkers is countered in favor of something more realistic. This is quite possibly the best joke of the entire production, most notably in how a car shootout. Javi, attempting to be a badass, winds injured because the explosions and showdown do not happen in the Jerry Bruckheimer expected way.

But the unsung hero of the film is Melissa Bretherton’s editing. The story’s scope is rather intimate, focusing on Javi and Nick’s relationship. But thanks to the editing, it is clear they live in an open world where people have lives even when not on screen. Nick and Javi’s discussion of their three favorite movies begins on a cliff near the water, continues through the trek home, and finishes over wine and food. No actual conversation would be protracted over such a long period. But the editing allows for the passage of time without sacrificing the central relationship. The greatest example is Nick’s first C.I.A mission. It starts in the room with both agents and Nick, the camera circling them, as the background fades into Javi’s birthday celebration. Emotions are still in check, and the visuals seamlessly transition from one location and time to another without missing a beat.

The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent offers something for hardcore Cage fans, cinephiles, or anyone looking for something refreshing and unique. It’s original, funny, dramatic, and action-packed without the tonal whiplash one might expect from such an ambitious narrative. So why haven’t you seen it yet?

The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent (2022)

Directed: Tom Gormican

Written: Tom Gormican, Kevin Etten

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Pedro Pascal, Sharon Horgan, Lily Sheen, Tiffany Haddish, Ike Barinholtz, Alessandra Mastronardi, Paco León, etc.

Movie score: 10/10

The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent Image

"…original, funny, dramatic, and action-packed..."

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