3.5 out of 10
Release Date: 4th May 2012
Director: Kieron Hawkes
Cast: Paul Anderson, Martin Compston, Louise Dylan, Roland Manookian, Ryan Winsley, Jumayne Hunter, Josh Herdman, Sonny Muslim with Ed Skrein and Neil Maskell
Writer: Kieron Hawkes
A sluggish pace and an uncharacteristically unsure central performance from Martin Compston (FOUR) scuppers what could have been a taut little thriller. The central conceit has been done a few too many times recently, so in order for it to have been fresh it needed a far snappier execution than what’s been presented here. Bullied loner, Joe (MARTIN COMPSTON) goes to his delivery boy job and at nights hides himself away in his drab flat. One night he is mugged (SONNY MUSLIM – CHERRY TREE LANE) and this sends him scurrying further inwards until the appearance of his livelier brother, John (NEIL MASKELL – KILL LIST) puts some normality back into his life. John helps him come out of his shell a little bit but an altercation in a local pub with four or five thugs led by Ed Skrein (ILL MANORS) and Roland Manookian (JUST FOR THE RECORD) ends in violence. All the above serves as prologue for what comes to follow. All I’ll add is that the titular Piggy, an old friend of John’s shows up at Joe’s flat. His aim? To get Joe to take revenge on John’s assailants. Piggy (PAUL ANDERSON – A LONELY PLACE TO DIE) is an ultra violent vigilante character who thinks mercy is the French word for thanks. A chilling but slightly hammy performance also tips the film into troubled waters. One by one the gang fall at the hands of Joe and Piggy via a series of ever disturbing torture methods.
The trouble with Piggy is that it’s episodic and repetitive. The despatch of the gang members proves to be a slog rather than an fast exercise in visceral horror and torture. Out of the thugs, it’s predictably, only Roland Manookian who remains in the memory as the particularly puzzled and upset coward of the group who gets to see his remaining days out chained to a radiator. Ed Skrein also makes an early impression but his scenes are short. The rest of the gang like Harry Potter’s Josh Herdman or the ubiquitous Jumayn Hunter (I ANNA) I’m struggling to recall either of their fates and I think there may have been a fifth guy <?> The main fault of the film are the two central performances. The actors speak too slowly and Piggy in particular emphasises every single syllable. Martin Compston‘s (a Scotsman) southern accent is shaky and he seems to be struggling with the role. Both of them have potentially great roles but Compston fails to grip his role with two hands and get his teeth into it, whereas Anderson needs more subtlety. It’s true that they needed to be opposites but their readings are off-kilter. The direction is slightly fussy too because a simple revenge tale is rendered slow and clunky. There are good performances further down the ranks from actors we’ve come to depend on here at Britpic Bungalows. Anderson is great if cast well, his Bex in The Firm remake in 2009 was superb and chilling and he’s proven to be good in his recent henchmen roles. This may be his first misstep because he’s a fascinating actor. Compston is everywhere these days and he’s generally good. Piggy just stretched usually reliable actors the wrong way. It’s like singers who stick to a range so therefore always seem to sound amazing. Why, like on reality shows like Pop Idol, people have to sing songs their voices aren’t built for is beyond sense to me. Whilst the actors shouldn’t stick to their comfort zones, they should still apply their strengths to what they’re comfortable, hence the need for casting directors / assistants.
3.5 out of 10 – Far from a disaster. To have succeeded it needed to be slicker and less fussy. The central two (whilst great actors) are miscast here. The plot conceit has been overdone recently and fails to convince on this occasion. Piggy is worth watching for good supporting roles from the ever dependable Roland Manookian and Neil Maskell.
Joe Pesci II’s review is below….
WHAT HAVE I SEEN THAT PERSON IN BEFORE?
- Paul Anderson: The Revenant, Legend (2015), In The Heart of The Sea, Electricity, Still Life, ’71, Peaky Blinders (TV), Passion (2012), The Sweeney, Sherlock Holmes 2, A Lonely Place To Die, The Firm (2009)
- Martin Compston: Manor Hunt Ball, Scottish Mussel, Line of Duty (TV), Filth, The Wee Man, When The Lights Went Out, 7Lives, Strippers Vs. Werewolves, Soulboy, Four, Ghosted, How To Stop Being a Loser, The Disappearance Of Alice Creed, Pimp, True North, The Damned Utd, Doomsday, Red Road, Tickets, Sweet Sixteen
- Louise Dylan: The Knot, Lesbian Vampire Killers
- Roland Manookian: Gunned Down, No Reason, GBH, The Rise and Fall Of The White Collar Hooligan, Big Fat Gypsy Gangster, Just For The Record, Dead Cert, Rock-N-Rolla, Grow Your Own,Rise Of The Footsoldier, The Business, The Football Factory, Goodbye Charlie Bright
- Ryan Winsley: ABCs of Death 2, He Who Dares 2, Essex Boys Retribution, Hush Your Mouth
- Jumayne Hunter: The Guvnors, Scintilla, Dom Hemingway, Borrowed Time, I Anna, Quartet, Attack The Block, Cherry Tree Lane, Eden Lake
- Josh Herdman: The Estate, Harry Potter part- 1 – 8
- Sonny Muslim: Turnout, Cherry Tree Lane
- Ed Skrein: Deadpool, Kill Your Darlings, Tiger House, The Model (2015), Transporter 4, Sword of Vengeance, Northmen, The Sweeney, Ill Manors
- Neil Maskell: High-Rise, Hyena, Open Windows, Evil Never Dies, The Rise, Utopia (TV), Dates (TV), All Things To All Men, The ABCs of Death, Pusher (2012), St. George’s Day, Wild Bill (2012), Kill List, Turnout, Ghosted, Bonded By Blood, Tony, Jack Falls, Paintball, Doghouse, Rise Of The Foot Soldier, It’s All Gone Pete Tong, The Football Factory, Nil By Mouth