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The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent

The more I think about this, the more it’s becoming a guilty pleasure that I have a huge soft spot for. Going into it, I had a kind of preconceived idea that only Nicolas Cage could make such a self-indulgent film and get away with it. Now I’ve seen it, my stance has done a u-turn on that, because actually only Nicolas Cage could make a film with this level of self-deprecation and get away with it. I think that’s a huge credit to him and everyone else involved in this. 

It’s very much a film of two halves, and there’s even a line where they talk about the structure of it and how that means there’s something for everyone. The problem is, in catering for everyone I feel it waters itself down. Half of the film is a really sweet story about a washed up actor who’s made bad decisions throughout his life, who then meets a super fan who encourages him to be the best possible version of himself. That stuff’s excellent, and I love it. The other half is a generic action movie that just weighs everything else down with nonsense and filler, which is a shame. 

On balance, I really enjoyed this. Nic Cage as a character is someone who I found quite relatable, for better or worse. There are some really nice moments where he talks about his passion for films and how that effects the people around him, and that almost brought a tear to my eye because it felt so close to home. I just wish they didn’t pad it out the generic action movie part.

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