PG Score: 7/10
Pig was released in theaters on 7/16/21
Nicolas Cage continues his run of the bizarre with his latest film, Pig. Cage (Con Air, Leaving Las Vegas) stars as a recluse who lives in the woods with just his truffle pig for a companion. Spending his day with Pig, Cage as Robin Feld goes in search of truffles that he trades with city man Amir (Alex Wolff) who meets up with him once a week exchanging goods that Rob needs, and in return taking the truffles and selling them back in the city, making a very nice profit for himself. This seems to work well until one night Rob is attacked and his pig stolen.
More Than a Revenge Flick
The trailer for Pig would have you believe this to be a revenge story about a man on a mission to find his stolen pig, but Pig is about more than that. At its heart, it is a story about loss and grief and how it is dealt with. Nicolas Cage gives another strong but understated performance and plays well off of Alex Wolff (Jumanji, Old) who captured playing a young man battling his ego and grief alongside his estrangement from his wealthy father (Adam Arkin). Wolff is a strong up-and-coming actor with a bright future ahead of him. He showed some good range as his character changed throughout the film leaving the film better than he started it.
Rob and Amir
The film takes us to Portland in search of Pig (it’s truffle season) where we find that Rob (Cage) is a man of renown throughout Portland who was an amazing chef that hasn’t been seen in 15 years. We get a journey through the underbelly of Portland as Rob searches for answers through old contacts, which ultimately leads us to an underground restaurant fight club. It is the journey through the city where the subtleties of the film truly unfold. Rob and Amir (Wolff) reveal parts of themselves that explain a lot about their characters and who they are when we start the film. Both characters suffered a loss that altered their lives and it is only when they go on this journey together that they begin to heal. All that comes to a head though when we finally meet Amir’s father and discover there is more to Amir’s story than we thought.
Adam Arkin has a strong presence that plays well as the domineering father who has his fingers in lots of pots around Portland. Giving off mob boss vibes, his character hits a wall against an unrelenting Cage now that he knows he has his pig. This is where things take a bit of a turn. Amir and Rob make a special meal for Darius (Arkin) with a bottle of wine that leaves him in tears due to its significance.
Good, not Great
Utilizing a small cast, Pig is excellently acted by its main players. The film itself is dark, not in tone, but rather on the screen. The very beginning of the film starts at dawn, which may play a part, but it did detract from the viewing and getting into the film from the get-go. We get a bit more color when we reach Portland, but it remains a dreary feeling film. Is Pig a good film? Yes, but it’s not one that needs to be seen. It was a unique take on loss and finding your way, but there are better films out there in which you get the same message. Cage is the king of bizarre and if you like that then this might be a film worth checking out, but for the average moviegoer though, I would give Pig a pass and save that money.