A well-acted British revenge thriller let down by a stale and repetitive script.
British revenge thriller Piggy marks the feature debut of writer director Kieron Hawkes. Set in modern day London, the all-too-predictable narrative revolves around Joe (Martin Compston), a young, introverted delivery boy who is bored by his existence.
Things start to look up when tough older brother, John (Kill List's Neil Maskell), re-enters his life. When John is suddenly and brutally murdered, Joe is forced back to his prior state of isolation. Though he finds solace in Piggy (Paul Anderson) who appears on his doorstep claiming to be John’s old schoolmate. At first friendly, Piggy wants to exact revenge on John’s killers and soon he and Joe are working in tandem in an escalating campaign of violence and murder.
Unfortunately, Hawkes struggles to get to grips with his admittedly intriguing subject matter, specifically the different ways in which we deal with grief. Plenty of time is spent outlining Joe’s life and emphasising his bond with John, but once that link is severed, the plot lurches its way through to its confusing conclusion, not helped by a script which is both stale and repetitive.
Furthermore, events seem to take place for the sole purpose of advancing the story as opposed to a natural progression of past incidents. How Joe can display evident queasiness at Piggy’s violence, only to be found watching over him again and again with nary an explanation is particularly irksome, and it makes his eventual and inevitable fall from grace feel unconvincing.
Hawkes fares far better on the visual front, aided by some effective cinematography from James Friend which imbues the London streets a sense of gritty authenticity: there's never the feeling that the main characters look out of place.
Acting wise, Piggy is largely impressive, with strong performances across the board. Notably, Compston delivers a nuanced turn as the socially awkward Joe, allowing Anderson to give a more charismatic performance as lunatic killer Piggy.
Yet, no matter how strong the cast is, it’s difficult to care when the tired script restricts you to repeating the same line three times, even, on one occasion, in a single scene.
British gang stories are a dime a dozen these days.
The decent acting is undermined by a poorly constructed story.
Too dull, too often.