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The Ending Of The Unbearable Weight Of Massive Talent Explained

This week finally sees the release of the wild and wonderfully weird film "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent," which puts Nicolas Cage in a role he was born to play. Taking on the part of a larger-than-life version of himself (we think), Cage plays Nicolas Cage as he approaches a crossroads in his illustrious life. Struggling to get ahold of the big gigs and stay connected with his daughter, the Oscar-winning actor accepts a paid appearance at the birthday party of a millionaire and huge Cage fan, Javi Gutierrez (Pedro Pascal).

Things get complicated, though, when shortly after his arrival, Cage is pulled aside by the CIA and informed that his host is the head of a drug cartel, and the actor's skills are needed to infiltrate and bring down Javi's organization from the inside. From here, a bromance is tested, a president's daughter needs rescuing, and a world-famous bear gets some well-deserved recognition. 

We get it — it's a lot to take in. Here's our breakdown of how things pan out for good ol' Nic Cage in "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent."

The Family Man

After forming a friendship stronger than a pair of gold-plated pistols, the struggle against Nic's new crime boss buddy increases when Javi surprises his acting idol with a visit from his ex-wife (Sharon Horgan) and daughter, Addy (Lilly Mo Sheen). The drug lord plans to help mend the bridges Cage is at risk of burning. It's only when Addy finally opens up to her father that he begins to realize his mistakes. She explains that most of her life has been molded by her father, and that she feels as if she's turning into someone she doesn't want to be. This surprisingly poignant moment breaks the heart of her dear old Dad, who begins to see the error of his ways. While a lot of the film is spent highlighting the star's Homeric legacy, this moment provides some key insight into the impact such Cage's epic career has had on those around him. It's an interesting commentary, if not entirely authentic to Cage's experience.

In the movie, Cage has issues connecting with his family, but the man behind the myth apparently has different priorities. Speaking to Variety, Cage said, "There's no version in the universe of a Nic Cage that doesn't want to spend time with his children. Family comes first, that's always a priority." Interestingly, the scene also works as meta-commentary in reverse; Sheen is the IRL daughter of stars Kate Beckinsale and Martin Sheen, so there's plenty of art imitating life in this moment.

Javi and Nic - the best of frenemies

As Cage levels with his family, Javi is called in for a meeting with his cousin, Lucas (Paco León), over a friendly bowl of Fruit Loops. Here it's revealed that Javi's cousin is the brains of the Gutierrez operation, not Cage's new BFF. Following the passing of Javi's father, Lucas was appointed as the new boss. Javi is apparently just a front to distract the feds. Lucas reveals in this moment that Mr. Cage has been in cahoots with the CIA the whole time, and it's up to Javi to rid the compound of this unwanted visitor. The double-dose of reality, in case you were counting. Javi is, understandably, betrayed and dismayed.

Javi walks his pal Cage out to a secluded area, but he struggles to carry out the hit. Cage knows full well what's happening, and in no time at all, a face-off occurs that sees both men admitting they can't kill each other, before Lucas' men interrupt the stalemate and begin firing on them both. Here, the film becomes a classic Cage caper. Outgunned and out of their depth, the two bicker over who should make a break for the car, with Javi suggesting Cage's training in "National Treasure" makes him a more suited sprinter.

Making up a rescue mission

After evading Lucas' men, Cage and Javi are reunited with the star's ex-wife, Olivia. She breaks the news that Addy has been taken hostage and is being held alongside the president's kidnapped daughter. Unbeknownst to them, Lucas' men have already got the drop on Cage's government handlers, who are dead by the time he gets there. It's a somewhat unceremonious death for both of the agents.

With no backup, Cage, Olivia, Javi, and his love interest, Gabriella (Alessandra Mastronardi), plan to retrieve the hostages by executing a somewhat slap-dash plan. Using Olivia's make-up artist experience, Cage stands in as an opposing crime boss who has not been seen in years and is interested in meeting Lucas. With the help of some heavy prosthetics, he becomes peak Nicolas Cage — overcommitted and somehow making it work. 

This brief performance is one of the film's highlights, but it's cut annoyingly short when things go sideways, and Lucas realizes that his visitor is most certainly Nicolas Cage with a fake nose. From here, a car chase ensues. Javi realizes he needs to stay behind to hold Lucas off. Both he and Cage have a heartfelt goodbye before the latter heads for the U.S. embassy. 

Here, the film reaches its meta and massively predictable conclusion, giving you Moore than expected.

A finale made for the big screen

Determined to get his man, Lucas remains hot on the heels of the Cage family, going as far as to storm the U.S. embassy gates. The actor famous for playing heroes turns into an actor playing himself as a hero. He enters a standoff with the crime boss. Abby retrieves a knife left by one of Lucas' henchmen, throws it to her dear old Dad, and they all bring the bad guy down — as a family. 

After a well-earned hero shot of his royal Caginess, a seamless transition cuts back to Olivia, who is now ... Demi Moore? In an unsurprising turn of events, the wild story of CIA espionage and friendship has been adapted to the big screen. The climactic scene is met with huge applause, confirming that Cage is back on top — and also that Javi survived the ordeal to see it.

It's here, where the fictional Cage at last mirrors the factual one. The star of the new big hit returns home to spend time with his family. Together they all sit down for a family night in to watch "Paddington 2," a film that Javi initially recommended following his first meeting with Cage. Thankfully, Cage isn't just acting up here, and has actually managed to see the beloved bear's second adventure in reality. It's yet another moment wrapped up in so many meta layers that you'd be forgiven for giving up before you finish untangling them. Speaking to Digital Spy, the real Cage deemed "Paddington 2," "a very poignant, funny and emotional movie, and Hugh Grant is marvellous in it." 

He sure is, but Cage in "Paddington 3" could be even better. Then he can shoot "Unbearable Weight 2," in which Nicolas Cage plays a fictional Nicolas Cage as he pursues a role in "Paddington 3," which he ultimately earns, culminating in a screening of the real "Paddington 3" starring Nicolas Cage. You can have that pitch for free, Lionsgate.