What seemed like “John Wick with a Pig” is really a deep character study by a supremely gifted actor. Yes, I mean Nicolas Cage.
God, it’s so hard to talk about Nicolas Cage sometimes. He’s one of the only actors where I think he can only improve the films he’s in. He makes good movies better, he makes bad movies tolerable, and he makes insane movies brilliant. He’s also the only person who would agree to be in so many movies in all of those categories. However, only on a few occasions have we had the opportunity to see what happens when Nicolas Cage gets put into a movie that might . This is one of those rare movies. I believe that this would be a compelling movie with almost any actor in the lead, but I also think that Nicolas Cage might be one of the few actors who can take this film as seriously as it deserves.
Rob Feld (Nicolas Cage) is a former chef who lives in the woods and hunts for truffles with his trusty foraging pig. He sells the truffles he finds to Amir (Alex Wolff), who supplies them to high-end restaurants. One night Rob is attacked by burglars who batter him and steal his pig. Rob asks Amir to help him track down the pig. After first trying to confront a group of local drug addicts, the pair start to head into Portland and they end up in the surprisingly brutal and somewhat criminal world of haute cuisine. Along the way, we get a picture of who Rob Feld used to be and what led him to give up the life he had for a life of solitude with a pig.
When I was told about this movie, it seemed like it was just a movie about vengeance for the theft of a beloved pet. When the movie hints at Rob having a deceased wife in the opening of the film, my first thought was “well, a John Wick rip-off with Nicolas Cage might still be fun.” Imagine my surprise when this movie turned out not to be a roaring rampage of revenge, but a slow, sullen, borderline surreal story about a man losing the one thing he felt he had left in his life. It’s not filled with violence and over-the-top action, but instead just plays through the story, slowly revealing more of the picture of who Rob is, what brought him to this point, and how he’s going to move on from here. Cage plays everything more subtle than you would believe him capable of, but it’s the smoldering rage and passion you can see behind his eyes and his words that really make the performance. He delivers calm and scathing words to the people that hurt more than a punch to the face ever could and at almost every conflict there is a surprising twist to the encounter. Even the final confrontation in the movie is completely different than I would have expected, in the best way.
Overall, just a fabulous movie. Watch it.