* * 1/2
Like its title, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent aspires to witty referential parodic clever meta-comedy, and falls flat. While Nicholas Cage and Pedro Pascal give amiable performances, the script consistently lets them down with references rather than honest jokes.
Cage plays a version of himself who gets caught up in the kind of action scenario a Nicholas Cage character might get himself caught up in; Pascal plays the buddy who may be the baddie. They certainly develop a chemistry – and Cage certainly shares the screen – but only to the extent you wish they were in a better film – perhaps a real Nicholas Cage film.
Highlights of this kind of thing are Being John Malkovich, JCVD and the Kate Winslet and Ben Stiller episodes of Extras. This laborious effort doesn’t come close to matching the wit displayed in any of those. It’s a shame, because everyone seems to be having a great time, and there is clearly a lot of affection for the subject, who plays along gamely and warmly. Maybe I’ll check out his other recent work; he seems surprisingly sane.