Pig ★★½

What is wrong with me? Why can I not get behind any critically acclaimed film that critics and Twitter and Letterboxd are sucking off as sensational and emotional? Why are prestige films so fucking lame? This movie was fine, on the cusp of maybe being good, but it’s not really. It’s just kind of there. It makes too many hack choices that had me rolling my eyes. I’m already not a huge fan of “revenge thrillers,” but to take out all of the shit that makes those movies work doesn’t leave much to enjoy. Why can’t I be like the guy who sat in front of me, who immediately pulled out his phone the second the credits started rolling, opened up this app, and rated the film five stars with a heart and dashed off a one line review about Nicolas Cage needing an Oscar for this movie. What’s going on here? Has society lowered their cinematic standards, or have I finally reached some peak level of film snobbery? But it can’t be that, I recently gave Pacific Rim five stars, and The fucking Forever Purge four. Maybe it’s because films that fully embrace their genre roots without masquerading as something “more important” are easier for me to just fall into the unpretentious world of? I don’t know what it is, but I sure am sick of people telling me how great something is and getting excited for it only to finally see it and think, “Really? This?” Is it that this movie on paper sounds *just* weird enough to be a cool and quirky thing to rave about, without actually be challenging or making you work for it? Obviously I’m presupposing reasons that people praised this, while some people surely simply genuinely enjoyed this, but goddamn, there is so little to be inspired or moved by here.

You know what hipsters love saying? “Actually, Nicolas Cage is a really good actor. When he takes on a role like Adaptation or Leaving Las Vegas, he turns out genuinely great performances. Have you seen Mandy…?” Yeah man, we know all that, everyone agrees with you, and you’re not really pulling out any deep cuts the way you think you are.

Spoilers may follow. If you care about that, stop reading now, because I’m not clicking that spoilers box for this review.

Wash your fucking face. You expect me to believe any goddamn thing happening in your stupid fucking movie when you’re making the choice to have your lead character flat out refuse to wash his filthy, blood caked fucking face. You expect me to believe someone is going to eat a meal prepared by a bloody hobo in a stained, crusty shirt? He looks fucking silly. I thought after that dumb knockoff Fight Club scene where he still hadn’t washed his face the next morning, “If this movie ends with him finally washing his face in some pathetic stab at symbolism for ‘washing away his former life’ or some shit like that, I will not like it.” Sure enough…

When Cage fucking Ratatouilled the pig thief by making such a powerful meal from a specific moment in his past, and he starts crying? I had to stifle some laughs. Come on. It was literally the climax of a Pixar movie. Also, a scene or two before, that big baddie had a moment where he talks about how strong and ruthless you have to be to survive in the cutthroat…culinary world of Portland? Smash cut to him weeping over a perfectly prepared pheasant, then spilling his guts about the pig. Lol, oookay. Real tough guy there.

The director, pitching this: “You know how in John Wick he just goes nuts in a kill crazy revenge rampage, shooting dudes in the face and engaging in impressively staged hand to hand fight sequences that satisfy the audience who want him to succeed despite the tragedies he’s had to overcome?”
Cage: “I didn’t see it. I actually don’t have time to watch movies because I make ten films a year because I squandered 150 million dollars on castles and dinosaur skulls and now I’m in incredible debt.”
Director: “Oh, well it was a very successful movie…”
Cage: “Sounds great, I’ll do it.”
Director: “Now hang on…our movie is *kinda* like that, but instead of exacting revenge on those who wronged him, he just kind of takes it, and gets beat up, and never does anything about it. But he DOES make a delicious meal for the man ultimately responsible.”
Cage: “Fuck it, I don’t care, I’ll do it. Whatever it is, I’ll do it, I don’t fucking care. Did you see Left Behind? Did you see The Humanity Bureau?? Did you see The Wicker Man??? I. Don’t. Care. I’ll do it.”

So many Letterboxd entries are all, “I’m weeping,” “I can’t stop crying,” “I’m shaking.” Get a grip. You fucking kidding me? I lost my amazing dog this year, she was my world, and it was an excruciating death that wreaked havoc on me emotionally. I can barely discuss it without getting choked up. If your movie about someone losing their beloved pet can’t elicit a single feeling of sadness from me, something is wrong. I was like the core demographic to be devastated by the end of this film, and yet I felt nothing.

Paul liked this review