The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent
Nic Cage plays… well Nic Cage, well he’s playing a version of himself.
On the verge of a divorce, Cage accepts an offer of a million dollars to attend the party of an olive oil baron in Mallorca. It is demeaning work that a serious actor usually wouldn’t consider but his financial situation means he must accept.
He meets his new employer, Javi, in Spain and they develop a fast friendship. Mainly due to Javi’s obsession and deep knowledge of Cage’s filmography. Shortly after their relationship is cemented by a hallucinogenic trip, he is tapped up by the CIA to spy on Javi who is revealed to be an international drug dealer.
So Nic Cage must now retrieve information on behalf of the United States government. It is a pretty fun premise. When it works, it's tremendous fun, mostly down to Nic Cage having a really great sense of humour about himself.Not something I would have thought he had.
Cage is an Oscar winner, and while I think he’s been a fine actor in the past, I’m always surprised how lauded he is by his peers. One story about him that always stuck with me was that he bought a Dinosaur skull from an gallery for a million dollars and then had to return it to the Mongolian government as it turned out to be stolen.
When I heard that story I thought… damn. This guy sounds weird. He has spent almost two decades in straight to video thrillers that have mostly been terrible. One or two absolute gems have sneaked in there, (Mandy and Pig being two of them if this film has given you appetite for more Cage ).
Honestly though most of his output has been poor since the 90s. I wondered was his passion gone. He was getting decent money for those films, but no one was watching and he became a bit of a joke.
Overall though, this doesn’t have a huge amount going on other than the (admittedly pretty amazing ) premise. It did lose me towards the end.
A little too farcical and silly but i'd had my fun by then, so I didn't really mind. Its a tough landing to stick.
The CIA plot has a very dark and abrupt ending and the family stuff just doesn’t quite work.
However the meta stuff makes it all worth it. It’s just fun to see someone take the piss out of themselves and subvert the perceptions about him and by doing that enhances his own legacy.