Pig. A Review

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Someone stole Nicolas Cage’s pet pig and he is ready to go on a violent and surprisingly surprising revenge rampage to get her back. That is the premise of the new movie Pig, which is currently playing at the State Theater in Ann Arbor.

Cage, an actor who most will recognize without the large beard he had in this film from National Treasure and Face Off, is in a recluse named Rob, living deep in the country in Oregon with a pet pig, making a living by digging up and selling truffles to Amir, the only person who frequents his property. Amir then sells them to upscale restaurants in Portland.

But that success brings unwanted attention as a group of assailants break in and kidnap his pet, leaving him beaten up for the rest of the film. With Amir in tow, he goes on a detective trip back through a surprising story that is equal parts mystery, fight film, a biography of the main character and a commentary on modern food and the difference between doing what is trendy and what makes you really happy in life.

Alex Wolf holds his own as Amir – a smug and self-satisfied, Camaro driving, classical music listening millennial who learns more than eh bargains for about his city, industry and life when Cage drags him along on his quest. Most millennials will remember him as the drummer from the Naked Brothers Band TV show on Nickelodeon. But now, he has grown into a fully developed and mature actor.

The film well earns its R-rating through its fight scenes early in the film and the emotional toll of what is revealed later in the film. Cage never does clean himself up from the short but realistically brutal fight in the first act of the film. It is also a bit jarring in its change in tone in some places. Pace-wise, the film is on its own schedule, but instead of feeling its 92 minutes, it simply doesn’t seem to matter if you are paying attention to the subtlety of what is going on.

A bit part of what makes this movie good is that while it is a awards-centered, highly serious drama it is not so serious that it takes itself too seriously. Cage and Wolf’s tit-for-tats got a few chuckles several times through the film, as did the occasional one liner that sneaks up in the script and surprises you as much as the rest of the film does as a whole.

This film is definitely worth giving a shot.

Image Credit: Michigan Theater Foundation, michtheater.org.

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