Nic Cage goes from batshit to boaring in Michael Sarnoski’s sowr drama about a truffle forager looking for his stolen pig. Presumably Kevin Bacon was busy.
The latest in the baffling pet-revenge sub-genre eschews John Wick-style violent retribution in favour of mind-numbing conversations about nothing, begging the question of why you would cast Nicolas Cage if not to have him go ham. The result will please neither Cage fans (as evidenced by walk-outs) nor hog heads, since the porcine screen time is as limited as the farmer’s vocabulary. “I want my pig back” is the extent of Cage’s character, suggesting Sarnoski is foraging for cult status but forgetting to make use of the one ingredient that practically guarantees it.
Instead he trots out a meandering, curly tale (complete with poinkless chapter headings) where Cage grunts his way through a slurry of disparate kertruffles, occasionally getting beaten up so the trailer can make it look like the actor engages in some Napoleonic wars. This attempt to subvert our expectations (rather than a history of violence the farmer is revealed in hushed tones to have been a famous chef) leaves us squealing cheated, not least because this is one situation where the protagonist might actually have been justified in throwing a punch or two.
This genre wallows in gammony masculinity, the animals mere sausage and egg MacGuffins in stories of men punished for their past before reclaiming their machismo by force. Here we get all the punishment with none of the payoff, which might be interesting were it not so snore-inducing. Monotonously shot in pigsty grey, the porkwardly serious yet swilfully nonsensical drama elicits no more than a few head scratchings. Until my farm-based streaming service Babestation gets off the ground, Pig is destined to go to market. Or CeX. I don’t know which is bleaker.