RogerBW's Blog

Pig (2021) 29 July 2023

2021 crime, dir. Michael Sarnoski, Nicolas Cage, Alex Wolff: IMDb / allmovie. He just wants his pig back.

This is a film that needs Nicolas Cage. The man can act; but when the production's a bit rubbish, a bit cheap, he's happy to fall back on the angry smoulder until it's time to break out the Cage Rage. And one is wondering: is this going to be one of those films? When are the guns and knives going to come out?

Well, they don't. Because this is a beautiful parody of a generic revenge drama: here's the Guy who Doesn't Do That Any More, forced to Do That one last time because his female dependent has been kidnapped… but the female dependent is a truffle-hunting pig jub'f nyernql qrnq ol gur gvzr ur svaqf bhg nobhg gur xvqanc, and the thing he doesn't do any more is professional-level cooking.

There are lovely subversions. Yeah, he used to be in an underground fighting ring. When he needs to impress the guy who runs it, he chalks up his name on the board, and everyone gasps. And then… he just stands there and takes a beating, never raising a hand to defend himself or strike back. Because that's how serious he is.

And when something hidden has to be retrieved from the tomb of his dead wife (yeah, alas, dead and damaged women as motivation for men are kind of a major thing even in this parody), it's not a Terminator 3-style Big Bag o'Guns: it's the exact right wine for the meal he's going to cook, one last time.

Perhaps it goes on a bit too long for what's essentially a one-idea film, but it does it very well, and Cage in serious acting mode is thoroughly watchable.

I talk about this film further on Ribbon of Memes.

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