The man who was once known as the “King of Bad Movies” is back

In the 90s, when the introduction of films was crazy, if the name of a man is mentioned, it must be familiar.

Nicolas Cage.

Once a record 21 films in 6 years, an average of 3-4 films a year, simply can be called a model worker.

But also because of the overnight fame, spending a lot, resulting in huge debts, and contributing to N bad films, the Chinese people affectionately and unbearably called “the king of bad films”.

At the 2022 South by Southwest Film Festival, he returns with his new film “The Weight of Genius”, vowing to clear his past of being the king of bad movies.

And did he succeed?

(*The following content contains spoilers, please read at your discretion)

The man

Nicholas Cage, a man whose Douban movie rating fell off a cliff from an average of 8 to 5, a man who abandoned his famous family name “Coppola” and vowed to make a name for himself, a man who wanted to clean up his acting career after paying off a huge debt, he is back.

It is hard to imagine that he is already 58 years old this year. The memory of “Changing Faces”, “Prison in the Air”, “The Amazing 60 Seconds”, and the “National Treasure” series Cage is still in the limelight, with deep eyes full of stories. Who would have thought that overnight the building collapsed, made several dozen even the name can not recall the bad film not to mention that the wife has changed an all one?

In a March 2022 interview with GQ magazine, Cage said that he had paid off at least $14 million in debt (about 92.66 million yuan) a year and a half ago, after insisting not to declare bankruptcy, and that “Genius Can’t Afford It” was signed before the loan was paid off.

This seems to mean a new life.

The Unbearable Weight of Genius” could well be described as an autobiographical action comedy film in which Nicolas Cage plays himself, Nic Cage. A wife disliked, alienated by his daughter, in Quentin Tarantino’s new film audition tragically lost, can not afford to pay the hotel room was locked out of the middle-aged man, seems to correspond to the dilemma Cage encountered in the real world.

To improve relations with his family and pay off debts, he resolutely bent on a million dollars to go to the south of Spain to attend the party of his iron fan tycoon, which also corresponds to the reality of Cage making bad movies to make money to pay off debts.

Their debts, the pots, and pans also have to rely on their efforts to pay off. Cage was once a wealthy nobleman, allowing his name to appear in third-rate movies and magazines, think about some heartbreaking.

But the movie is more gentle than reality, Cage’s cha rice journey is only not bland end, but cha out of style, cha out of level, in the form of a drama within a drama, a guest appearance in Spain, the United States CIA agents, but also to save a country’s presidential candidate’s daughter (also a fan of Cage). Not only that, but he also fought gang leaders, gaining die-hard rich brothers, with his wife and daughter to re-introduce intimacy, staged the new film also received full applause. This is simply heaven, dream life ah there!

The script of this film is the 6th place work in the 2019 Hollywood screenplay “The Black List” (The Black List). The two writers, Tom Gormican and Kevin Aydin, both wrote the supernatural single-camera comedy “Live and Let Die”, and Tom Gormican is also the director of the film, having directed “Awkward Moments” starring Zac Efron. Both are big fans of Cage, but both are paste curry, and there is no famous work on the right before.

Tom and Kevin tried multiple channels to send the script to Cage but were rejected 3 or 4 times, finally, Tom had no choice, but and wrote a letter vocally and emotionally. Eventually living up to expectations, a producer who had worked with Cage saw the script and decided to produce the film, which aroused Cage’s interest.

The collaboration between Paste Cage and Paste Cage was thus born.

Only fans understand fans best

Will “The Unbearable Weight of Genius” allow Cage to make a nice turnaround? At the moment it looks difficult, relatively cheesy plot, seemingly under-budgeted cinematography, lighting, and slightly deliberate and sell action scenes, can not make this film can be called a five-star work.

But this does not stop the film to become a two-way redemption of Cage and Cage fans, if you look at the film as a love letter written by Cage and fans, then you should get a lot of surprises, that it is a “fan film” is more appropriate.

The other main character of the film, the legendary gang leader Harvey, played by Chilean-American actor Pedro Pascal (who appeared in “Mandalorian”, “Game of Thrones”, “Drug Lord”), is a character without flaws, as a friend, he is chivalrous, as a lover, he endures humiliation, as an artist, he is naive and romantic, as a member of a gangster family he is tenderhearted.

But do not forget, his main identity, is the number one fan of Nicholas Cage greatly. No one knows the mysterious basement, his carefully arranged exclusively Nicholas Cage’s collection, look around, magazines, photos, pillows, hand-me-downs, props, scripts have everything. Many treasures cause us realistic fans to scream, such as the pinnacle of Cage’s “Changing Faces” in which Cage is a one-to-one wax figure, in a black suit, holding a golden double gun, looking steadfastly ahead.

Strongly suspect that the two writers have such a collection room full of Cage’s periphery at home, hiding the glorious history that even Cage may have forgotten. Otherwise, why is Harvey in this film in the idol to see their collection, a face of shyness and embarrassment, just like the star-crossed us, all the love for the idol is exposed in the air, the kind that can not be collected.

Not only that, but Harvey is also committed to his idol back to the altar, for which he wrote a script tailored specifically for Cage, and sent it to Cage’s agent. When I learned that Cage read his script, his face was flushed with excitement, and his dream finally came true. And it was precisely Harvey’s script that brought Cage back to the top of his acting game in the real world of the film.

And look, what a difference it makes to this film. Director Tom Gormican can even quote lines from every Cage film without hesitation. In this film there are even a large number of tributes to Cage’s masterpiece, covering Cage’s career from the 1980s to 2020, “Leaving Las Vegas”, “Changing Faces”, “Mad Men”, “Air Prison”, “I’m Wild at Heart” and so on, when the fan when this part, to their idol director, is also considered the pinnacle of the star-crossed career.

I hope you revive, I hope you regroup, I hope now I can help you, I hope you stand on that shining stage again. The sincere wishes of the director and screenwriter could not be more evident in this film.

It can be said that “Genius Can’t Take It” is a symbol, a piece of work that speaks to the hearts of all fans, represented by two number one fans. It can be a comma that sums up the first half of Cage’s life and opens up the second half of his life, which can be glorious or down; it can also be a period, representing the Cage who once held the Oscar for Best Actor and dropped it to the ground capriciously, leaving fans to worry and worry about those past events, which have come to an end.

A dream

At the end of “The Weight of Genius”, Cage, who used to stay up at night and regard fame and fortune more than his family, made a different decision.

When the film written by Harvey and embellished by Cage was a huge success, Cage sat in the middle of the audience and heard the thunderous applause in his ears again, and his wife and daughter around him smiled heartily.

When the crowd came out of the theater, his wife and daughter thought that Cage would go to the celebration, but I did not expect him to decline Harvey’s invitation and went straight home to discuss the plot of the movie with his wife and daughter and watch a “Paddington Bear 2” together, which is now the life that Cage wants. Life can be so warm and calm after shedding fancy clothes and gossiping.

In the GQ interview, Cage said, “When I’m making four movies a year, there’s no time to stop for a moment, but I still need to find something in those movies that I believe in, so I can give it my all.”

It’s hard to imagine what the film-loving Cage was thinking when he was trying to commit to his role on the set of some so-called bad movies, but he never gave up on his pursuit of movies and his exploration of himself. He once said he dreamed of playing a role like Jules Verne’s novel “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” and “Mysterious Island” of Captain Nemo who loves the sea and has some kind of resonance with himself.

After all, the first step to finding yourself is to see yourself. And Cage seems to have found himself in the various roles he played in “Genius Can’t Take It”.

Then it might be a good idea to let us rekindle some confidence in him.

Finally, “National Treasure 3” is expected to meet with the audience in 2025, starring Nicolas Cage, which will be a dream 18 years apart, and I hope it will not skip this time. So, can look forward to it?

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