The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent (2022)
Right, why didn't anyone tell me that Sharon was in this? I would have watched it literally months ago, had I stopped for a second to watch a trailer or perhaps maybe check the cast list at some point. My bad, I guess. I just thought this was Nicolas Cage flexing for food, as usual. I didn't think for a minute that there was a chance that it actually might be any good. I assumed it would be the same old garbage he's been throwing out for the past few years.
And no, it isn't a huge upturn as we all might like, but it is a lot more engaging and substantial than most of his recent work. He seems to have learnt his place over the last few years, he can read his CV on IMDb just like the rest of us and it truly does make for sobering reading. This meta project, where he plays himself, probably isn't helped by its timing, given that Bullock and Channing have recently been running around the jungle when they ostensibly have no right or skills to.
He seems to be following much of the advice that has been thrown at him recently. Gone are half a dozen films in a year with this being the only one of three film projects likely to be seen with him present this year (the others being The Retirement Plan and The Old Way), save for the Joe Exotic television series he's attached to.
No rocket science is required to see what's going on here with the plot of the film showing a significant similarity to the movie being discussed in the film itself, as meta maybe as Nicolas Cage playing himself, perhaps. It chugs along at an amiable pace throughout and ramps up the tension in the final third, as if adhering to many of his recent box office successes. This is not a challenge, more a return to what he knows works for his audience, even with a welcome surprise at the conclusion. Overall, this is much better stuff from Cage and if he's really honest, I think he knows it too. Not that he went anywhere.