Pig, the feature debut of writer-director Michael Sarnoski, may appear on paper to be simply another entry in the increasing pantheon of ludicrous Nicolas Cage-starring action films, but it is not to be taken lightly. Those expecting John Wick on bath salts or something similar to Mandy’s neon-splashed insanity will be left perplexed, if not disappointed, by what is ultimately a sublimely restrained, frequently surprising piece of work that bears only the most basic, superficial similarities to the aforementioned projects. Pig is perhaps the closest thing Cage has done in the last decade to David Gordon Green’s picture Joe, a serious yet occasionally funny and beguiling drama.
The story is divided into three chapters, with intertitles like “rustic mushroom tart” and “a bird, a bottle, and a salted baguette,” a choice that could come across as pretentious in a less convincingly serious film, but Sarnoski’s exceptional tonal control ensures that the mood never escapes him or his cast. Pig is a fascinatingly weird, darkly comic journey into the underbelly of Portland’s fine dining business, with excursions ranging from underground fight clubs to interactions with meth addicts at its center. If Sarnoski focuses on one theme, it’s undoubtedly deconstructing the pretentious, effete mores of high-priced restaurateurs, who are so eager to destroy and reconstruct. IMDB