The unbearable weight of massive talent knows Nicolas Cage has been a source of epic memes over the past decade, and he leans into that fact in grand style, delivering some of the most hilarious quotes in any Cage movie to date. As a stylized version of himself, Cage is a struggling actor who reluctantly accepts a gig appearing at a super fan’s birthday party, only to be recruited by the CIA to perform a sting on his host. .
With that kind of plot and a very Pedro Pascal game as Cage’s #1 fan, it’s no surprise the movie is a riot of laughs, but in the humor are some clever meta messages about Cage’s career, public figure, and legend. like a Hollywood icon who creates a symbiosis between actor and fan.
“Never shit on yourself.”
Like The unbearable weight of massive talent opens, Nick Cage is between two films, desperate for a role worthy of his talents. His agent recommends taking a million dollars to attend a super fan’s 40th birthday party, which Cage turns down, shouting that line in the middle of a quiet spa.
Although Cage is stuck doing Direct-to-Video movies, he doesn’t think he should degrade himself by appearing as a birthday clown for someone’s personal amusement. The statement is as hilarious as it is inspiring, and a testament to the personal integrity the real Nicolas Cage has maintained in his career even though his filmography has been less than stellar.
“He’s a Spanish doctor, right?”
After reluctantly agreeing to meet his #1 fan, Javi Gutierrez, Nick Cage phones his agent on the way to Javi’s villa, eager for any information he can give him on what to expect from his host. Cage lists several hypothetical situations that go from celebrity kidnapping to sexual gender, while slipping in this allusion to one of James Bond’s best villains, Dr.
Cage has no idea that the man driving the boat is Javi himself, and with each riskier and riskier guess, Javi looks at Cage with concern and worry. At the same time, Cage worries if Javi is “some kind of freak”, Javi wonders the same, leading to the momentous punchline when Cage realizes his host’s true identity.
“It’s only a matter of time before the great power plant upstairs snuffs out the juice and we retreat to the black pit of nothingness from whence we came.”
One of Nic Cage’s best lines in the film comes after he arrives at Javi’s sprawling villa, and the pair share drinks and daydreams by the pool. Depressed and aimless, Cage begins to speak poetically about the future of his life and his film career, both of which he sees as at the mercy of an allegorical powerhouse.
His host asks him relatively simple, jovial, and straightforward questions in an effort to shake him out of his discouragement and get to know him, and Cage answers him with nothing but nihilism. It would be sad if it wasn’t so funny, especially with Cage’s tongue-in-cheek delivery.
“I’m 44, why the hell would I see Croods 2.”
Nicolas Cage has made a lot of movies over four decades, so being a fan of Nicolas Cage means having very personal memories tied to certain eras of acting. The conversation, between the two CIA agents trying to recruit Cage for their undercover operation, reflects this, as we like his family animated film Croods 2, and we absolutely do not.
Filmmakers know that every fan has a favorite Nicolas Cage movie that shaped their cinematic experience. For fans like Martin, who at 44 would have been a teenager enjoying Cage’s high-octane action flicks, Air conditioning and Front/Off will always crush Croods 2, but for young Cage fans, this film might have been their very first exposure to Cage as a performer.
“Nick Cage smooches well!”
Throughout the film, there is a devil on Cage’s shoulder; a younger avatar of himself, inspired by an infamous 1990 interview on the Terry Wogan show and a time in Cage’s life when he was known for an explosive public persona. At one point, during a particularly rowdy fight with his identity (dubbed “Nicky”), the pair engage in a passionate kiss, after which Nicky sings this quote.
According to IndieWireit was Cage’s idea to stick together with his younger self, pushing the absurdity of the film’s meta message about actor worship and emphasizing the inner dialogue inherent in a performer like Cage who is both in love with and repelled by the bravado of his bygone days.
“Maybe it’s just the drugs talking, but what if we had a BIG drug scene?”
Pedro Pascal has some of the funniest quotes in the movie, but Javi is at his best when taking LSD with his idol, and the two are engaged in a rapid fire of ideas for the movie they’re going to make together. At one point, he almost breaks the fourth wall by referring to their drug-induced states when he suggests a drug scene in their film.
It’s at this point that the movie they imagine becomes the movie they’re actually in, but that point in no way puts a damper on the sheer enjoyment of watching Cage and Pascal talk about their movie – and movies in general. – – with the enthusiasm of two children in a candy store.
“Spycraft, subterfuge, what have you … The strange thing is: it’s Fact Kind of makes sense given that so many actors East Like spying.”
When the CIA approaches Nick Cage to be their eyes and ears inside Javi’s villa and find information about his cartel operation, he’s concerned, but soon all the “spycraft, subterfuge, what have you begins to make him believe all the spy training the movies have prepared him for this very mission. What follows is a glorious adventure in the tropes and stereotypes of the genre.
“I don’t even like the word play anymore because it involves lying in a certain way,” Cage said. WEATHER. That’s a harsh way to look at Cage’s peculiar method of risk-taking. Perhaps he really thinks of it as espionage – spying on a character’s secret truths the better to expose them to the harsh light of public scrutiny.
“That’s grotesque. I’ll give you $20,000 for that.”
“You might think of me differently,” Javi tells Cage as they stand in front of a mirrored door, his idol being forced to stare at his reflection as he longs to look behind. What Cage thinks is behind the door – a kidnapped girl, a drug stash – that will fundamentally alter his friendship with Javi isn’t what worries Javi. Rather, it’s his impressive collection of Nicolas Cage movie props and memorabilia.
Passing by the bloodstained stuffed rabbit of Air conditioning and the chainsaw Mandy, Cage comes face to face with a life-size statue of Castor Troy, his iconic villain from Face/Off, brandishing his gold-plated desert eagles. Facing his own sculpted face, Cage declares it “grotesque” before asking to buy it. Javi won’t sell it, but Cage’s deadpan delivery does.
“I should always trust my instincts as a shamanic comedian.”
Over the years, we’ve had a lot of fun with the neurotic outbursts that characterize Cage’s work, a style of acting that the actor himself went on to call “New Shamanic” in a press release for Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance.
Cage offers a nod and nod to his enigmatic take on the performance with this reference to his shamanic instincts, tracing back to medieval theater tropes and tribal healers telling stories to transform and inspire bewitched audiences. That he should use them as a way to help save his family from danger in The unbearable weight of massive talent makes this line even more fun.
“To turn your back on this gift is to turn your back on the entire human race!”
There is a special relationship between Javi and Nick, one that represents the one between fan and superstar who come to rely on each other for reassurance, motivation and even validation. Nowhere is this better represented than when Javi makes that heartfelt, rosy-eyed statement on a cliff when Cage vows to retire from acting.
That Pascal delivers this line with such heartbreaking earnestness really sells it and transcends it from cheap melodrama to raw truth. Yes, Nicolas Cage really means that to Javi Gutierrez and to the entire human race.
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