Let’s start with a bold statement: this might be the best movie Nicolas Cage has ever made. Loaded with self-parody and self-fulfilling self-awareness TUWOMT is a very clever movie and very entertaining.
From veiled swipes at everything from superhero movies, film cliches and Hollywood itself through to Cage’s often unflattering self-portrayal this movie is a welcome departure from the formulaic sequel-after-sequel drudgery we see from Hollywood these days.
Cage plays Nick Cage, an actor who’s career is faltering and often talks to hallucinated versions of himself from movies he made years ago. He reluctantly takes an offer to appear at a party for some rich guy and huge Nick Cage fan played by Pedro Pascal (drug kingpin, perhaps?) and the two bond and decide to write a movie together.
The movie they write ends up mimicking the movie you are watching which means it deliberately gives away the ending but there’s no disappointment to be had in that. In fact, if anything it just makes TUWOMT even funnier through its shameless self-referential quirks.
Watching the trailer I was unsure of what to expect, thinking that this movie might either be great or complete crap. But Cage delivers a performance that is full of self-parody yet still genuine and it’s his performance that carries the movie. I found it hilariously self-aware and more cleverly written than most other films of late. For example, if Jurassic World: Dominion had half the inspiration and brains of this screenplay then it wouldn’t have sucked so, so much. And boy, did that movie suck.
Credit must also be given to Cage for being brave enough to poke fun at himself to this level. Many other actors would have been scared away by a script like this but Cage hits this one out of the park. The Nick Cage we see in the first act is arrogant, shallow, desperate and selfish, hardly endearing qualities for a character who shares the same name as the man portraying him.
Special mention to Pedro Pascal who shows off some genuine comedy chops as he fanboys over Nick Cage.
It’s the sort of movie I don’t want to give too much away about. It’s a clever, unusual tale that is genuinely funny and entertaining. Watch it with an open mind and be delighted by a movie that doesn’t feel the same as everything else these days.
To some extent this is still just a buddy comedy/action movie but it’s a refreshing twist on the genre that packs some genuine heart and some smart writing. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy with its tongue firmly in cheek.
To quote Kath & Kim, “it’s nice, it’s different, it’s unusual” and it’s a whole lot of fun, too.