Nicolas Cage in ‘Pig’ Movie Review: Swine/Off

Most of Nicolas Cage’s recent movies have catered to his expertise in freaking out. That’s great, there should always be more vehicles for Vampire’s Kiss/Face/Off Cage. Pig harkens back more to his Leaving Las Vegas and Weather Man style of quiet, meditative. It’s a Nicolas Cage we haven’t seen in years and welcome back.

Nicolas Cage sits with his pig
Nicolas Cage | Neon

What is the Nicolas Cage movie ‘Pig’ about?

Robin Feld (Cage) hunts truffles in the woods with his pig. Some people kidnap the pig so Robin goes to Portland to track down the kidnappers. Truffle hunting is big business, so getting the pig back is high stakes. Robin specifies even training a new pig would cost him a whole season’s worth of truffles, so it’s not an option. He’s got to get his pig back. 

Nicolas Cage, bloodied after a fight, holds dinner plates
Nicolas Cage | Neon

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It’s Nicolas Cage’s Taken, but Cage already did his traditional action movies. This is something different. Even as a sort of Sam Spade/Philip Marlowe gumshoe movie, Pig is less interested in unraveling the conspiracy than it is with why Robin is so consumed with his animal partner.

Nicolas cage holds it all in 

Cage immerses himself in the role and rocks Robin’s mountain man look. His hair is long but it’s not glamorous like in Con Air. It’s all stringy and matted. This hair would not blow in the wind in slow motion, but there’s no slow motion in this movie to test that theory.

Pig is a slow burn, meditative thriller as Robin meets suspects and follows up leads. Robin is quiet Cage, though. When he talks, he mumbles and whispers but he’s heartfelt. There’s a reason he moved out to the woods to gather truffles. He doesn’t miss people .

Each query reveals a bit more about Robin’s past. There are also just as many stretches of the movie where Cage is brooding. Other characters talk at him, but Robin is on a different plane. He’s just waiting for them to exhaust themselves on their B.S so he can get to the point, which is his pig.

Pig: Nicolas Cage and Alex Wolff sit at a restaurant table
L-R: Nicolas Cage and Alex Wolff | Neon

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Often it seems like he’s torturing himself, like in a one sided fight club where you see how long you can stand there and take hits. Robin spends the movie bloodied and bruised from that, but it’s clear those are flesh wounds compared to what’s boiling inside. Instead of taking out the bad guys, he’s sacrificing himself on this rescue mission. Of course, Cage will explode eventually but he really holds it in a lot of the movie. Cage is compelling either way.

‘Pig’ is juicy and succulent 

Every time Robin meets someone, these are meaty dialogues, pun intended. It’s been a while since Cage had such formidable scene partners. 

Pig reminds the world why Nicolas Cage is the greatest actor. Of course, the true believers have never wavered. Yes, it’s fun to celebrate his most outrageous performances, and his recent movies and TV hosting duties show they’re still in there. But his subtlety can be just as intense as his rage.