Directed by Tom Gormican
Written by Tom Gormican and Kevin Etten
Nicholas Cage, Pedro Pascal, Tiffany Haddish, Sharon Horgan, Paco Leon, Neil Patrick Harris, Lily Mo Sheen, Alessandra Mastronardi, Ike Barinholtz, Demi Moore.
In this ultra Meta movie, Nicholas “Nic” Cage plays Nicholas “Nick” Cage (an exaggerated version of the real life Nic Cage) – who is recently divorced from his only wife, and is struggling with a relationship with his fifteen year old daughter.
Feeling his career is over, he is invited to a party in Spain for Javi (Pascal) who has a movie he has written and wants ‘Nick’ to star in it. While in Spain, Nick is recruited by the CIA (Haddish and Barinholtz to help find the kidnapped daughter of a politician – and the CIA thinks Javi is behind it. Nick’s growing friendship with the man, who appears to be a really nice guy, makes it hard for him to betray his friend – and his ‘thespian’ training also has him thinking the CIA is wrong.
This is an extremely funny film. Real life Cage is brilliant as the fictionalized version of himself – and is both self referential and deprecating about his own past. His career – such as his inability to say no to a project, and his overspending are mocked here. The screenplay is on point, and is very funny at times. I found myself laughing out loud several times throughout.
The big up for this is Pedro Pascal as Javi – and he is the best part of the movie. He has a childlike innocence as Javi. He is the best part of this movie, and I wish Pascal all the best for a long and fulfilling career.
There is a fun soundtrack that mixes both English and Spanish for where the movie takes place.
There are sadly more downs than there are ups. There is the character of ‘Nicky’ who is also played by Cage – and the CGI for the younger version is quite off putting. While Cage has in the past played against himself (Adaptation) and it has worked, it does not work here.
The third act, when the big bad is revealed, and what follows feels off putting in what was earlier a comedy (that being said, this is also referenced in the movie – where Javi and Nick discuss their movie). The entire tone of the movie changes
Some major plotlines, and character arcs are also left unresolved, and talent such as Haddish, Harris and Barinholtz are completely underused.
However the flaws, I do recommend this film. It is a great Friday night in watch, and especially if you grew up on Cage’s film like I (and the character within the film) did.