Actor Nicolas Cage plays a fictional version of himself in the meta action comedy, The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent. We find the once bankable movie star in debt and he takes any role that comes his way, even if they are cheap direct-to-video features. When a major role that would bring him back into the Hollywood mainstream falls through, Cage agrees to make a personal appearance at the birthday party of billionaire superfan Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal). Happily, Cage and Gutierrez become fast friends and decide to collaborate on a screenplay. The plot thickens when CIA agents (Tiffany Haddish and Ike Barinholtz) inform Cage that his new friend is a drug lord and arms dealer.
The first half of the film, which parodies Cage's career, is funny, and the added layer of the actor playing himself makes it even more amusing. We get clever references to Face/Off (1997), Moonstruck (1987), National Treasure (2004), and many other classic Cage movies. The comedic momentum, however, diminishes in the second half as the picture generally becomes a straight action flick.
Periodically, Nicolas Cage has conversations with his alter-ego, Nicky (listed in the credits under Cage's real name, Nicolas Kim Coppola), who is a younger, unhinged version of the actor right out of Vampire's Kiss (1989). I wish that this movie would have done more with the alter-ego character.