"Massive Talent" in the cinema: Nicolas Cage between self-mockery and madness

When you hear the name Nicolas Cage, you probably think of as many good films as bad films.

"Massive Talent" in the cinema: Nicolas Cage between self-mockery and madness

When you hear the name Nicolas Cage, you probably think of as many good films as bad films. The actor is now making one of his better films out of his failure, making fun of himself in "Massive Talent". Unfortunately, that's not enough for another Oscar.

Nicolas Cage has made a lot of films in his life, some of which became cult in the 1990s. Unforgotten is "Leaving Las Vegas", where he played the death-wishing author and drunkard Ben alongside Elisabeth Shue. He even received an Oscar for it in 1996. Or David Lynch's road movie "Wild at Heart", in which the main characters Lula and Sailor embark on a dangerous and emotional escape.

Other well-known films with a grandiose Nicolas Cage are "City of Angels", "In the Body of the Enemy" and the comedy "Moonstruck". However, many of his other more than 100 works did not even make it to the cinema, and were only released on DVD and Blu-ray. But works like "Mandy" and "Pig" that are worth seeing were also created here.

Hardly any other Hollywood actor shot as much as Cage. He often didn't care what crappy script he was presented with, after all he has to pay alimony to four ex-wives. Cage has been married for the fifth time since last year and is about to become a father for the third time. And he also maintained an expensive lifestyle over the years, which is probably why it was simply not possible to sit back and relax. In a recent interview with "GQ" magazine, he said openly and honestly that he had only accepted many roles in order to be able to pay off his millions in debt.

Cage's last screen appearance was in the 2011 Marvel sequel Ghost Rider 2: Spirit Of Vengeance. Now the 58-year-old is celebrating his screen comeback with a lot of self-mockery, but also a lot of madness. "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent" is the US title of the comedy that will be released in German cinemas under the abbreviated "Massive Talent". In it, Nicolas Cage plays a failed Hollywood star, himself.

Nic Cage's (Nicolas Cage) career is idle, he passed his zenith a long time ago. Good roles are no longer offered to him, his last audition was unsuccessful. As a result, the debt is getting to his head. However, he doesn't really want to admit his failure yet. In the soliloquies he has with his younger self, he mourns the old days and repeatedly affirms that he "never been away".

This is one of the reasons why his wife Olivia (Sharon Horgan) left him and took their teenage daughter Addy (Lily Sheen) with her. She, too, is annoyed by her father's enthusiasm for films and his old stories. Now Nic is also threatened with being evicted from the apartment in which he has lived since the breakup and for which he has not paid rent for half an eternity. So he has no choice but to finally face things.

And so Nic is forced to accept the only offer his agent (Neil Patrick Harris) has in store for him: Spanish businessman Javi (Pedro Pascal) offers a million dollars for his big idol to be the star guest at his birthday party. Shortly after Nic arrives in Mallorca, he is contacted by the CIA. Agents Vivian (Tiffany Haddish) and Martin (Ike Barinholtz) reveal to him that his sympathetic superfan is an international arms dealer who has kidnapped the daughter of a politician. Nic has to find out where he's hiding them. Now his acting talent is needed to save not only the life of the girl, but also that of his own family.

Nicolas Cage plays Nicolas Cage in a way nobody else could have. He is not vain for a single moment, playing with his constant striving for fame and recognition and the fear of disappearing into insignificance. This creates entertaining moments, funny dialogues and heartwarming scenes in which you just have to like Cage in all his desperation.

But when "Massive Talent" develops from a satire to an action film, it starts to weaken. The story of the reformed man in the mid-life crisis is predictable, and the story about Javi also offers few surprises. And so the whole thing turns out to be a moderately successful homage to Cage's action heyday in the 1990s.

In the end, one wishes director Tom Gormican and his co-writer Kevin Etten had stuck with the bromance between Nicolas and Javi and filled the entire 107 minutes with the intelligent and witty conversations about movies, aging and failure that power everything started. For real Nicolas Cage fans, "Massive Talent" is certainly a must, because there are always references to his greatest (failure) successes and insider gags that the star from one of the best actors in Hollywood to one of the become the most likeable.

"Massive Talent" opens in cinemas on June 16th.

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