Crazy Nicolas Cage trying to get his stolen pig back. That is what I thought of this movie when I first saw the trailer for Pig, and I was fully bought in. However, after seeing the movie, I can honestly say that this is 100% deeper than I thought it was going to be.
The movie started and I thought that this was going to be the second Nicolas Cage this movie this year where Cage doesn’t say much of anything (Willy’s Wonderland), but as Pig progressed, we got more dialogue from Cage. Not a lot, mind you, but more than Willy’s Wonderland.
Rob (Nicolas Cage) was a former chef who retreated to the wilderness of Oregon with his truffle pig to hunt truffles for a younger truffle entrepreneur Amir (Alex Wolff). One day, someone arrived and attacks Rob, taking his pig. Rob leaves the wilderness in search of his missing pig.
Do not make the mistake that I have heard many people making. This is not John Wick or Taken with a pig. Pig does not turn into a revenge thriller. Nic Cage’s Rob may have a set of particular skills, but they’re not the same kind of skills Liam Neeson or Keanu Reeves’s characters possessed. To be fair, I don’t know if John Wick or Bryan Mills could cook up a tasty pheasant dinner.
This is a deeply emotional character piece, looking into Rob, Amir, Darius (played by Adam Arkin) with some wonderful writing and amazing performances. Nicolas Cage gives one of his best performances of the last several years, taking nothing away from his other work, but he is completely standout here. The scene where Cage and Wolff go to a Portland restaurant and Cage winds up dressing down the chef (David Knell) who was a former apprentice of Rob’s, is a masterclass in writing and execution. That scene alone is worth the admission to the film.
I also love that Nic Cage goes the entire movie with the blood stained face that happened when he was attacked by the pig-nappers. People kept asking him if he needed medical attention or if he were alright and Cage just kept on going. It is a true character choice that tells you more about that character than you expect.
Alex Wolff is also very good here. Wolff who has been playing the young teen/adult characters steps into a more mature role than what I am used to and he knocks it out of the park. He has a bright future ahead of him.
Pig is a really exceptional film with great performances, especially the lead performance from Nicolas Cage. It may seem silly, but the film takes you into an emotional depth that I did not expect. Pig is a beautiful tale of love and loss.