Nicolas Cage. As Nick Cage.
In a movie about Nic Cage. No, this isn’t some sort of passion project to celebrate the self. It is a rather a feature similar to the likes of Everything, Everywhere, All At Once, where it celebrates the life of the talent. And in this case, the talent is one Nicolas Cage and it is delivered from the outset.
“I got you a bunny”
Is there any better way to start a film celebrating Cage, than with Con freaking Air? The 1997 action epic setting in place that internationally, “Nick Cage is so f*cking cool”. Plot device one takes place as we whirl into the fourth wall shattering world of Nick Cage’s so-called life. He’s working. He’s doing a read for screenwriters. But he’s a bit out of mooch. Moolah. Cold hard cash. For such a lauded career, he’s down and out and it also applies to the life he has with his so-called family.
Enter Javi Gutierrez!
The always affable Pedro Pascal steps in as Cage’s financial savior, whisking Cage away to Mallorca as a guest for their birthday party. Yes, a guest for their birthday party. While the film sprinkles constant references (in more ways than one) to Cage’s previous works, there’s smarter layers when the application of Adaptation comes into play. As Javi and Cage’s friendship blossoms, so does plot device two, which starts to unravel with plot device one atop their budding relationship.
Yes, it’s a buddy-romance action-comedy. And it is brilliant. With laughs a plenty, and Cage facts you never thought you needed to know, it is testament to a man who has worked, and continues to work, within Hollywood. The metanarrative is befitting for a personality such as Cage, and the supporting cast allow him to take that to its limit.
While there’s many things to celebrate in what this film does well, I will point out the 2 most important parts of what I think will put bums in seats:
It’s only 107 minutes long.
And it acknowledges that Paddington 2 is the greatest film of all-time.
If you're going to make a film about Nicolas Cage, then this is it.
We won't need any documentaries or biographical mini-series to celebrate his career, because The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent does it in exceptionally better and bizarre ways.
This movie is Nick Cage. Nic Cage. And Nicolas Cage. And it is all the greater for it.