In this British film Joe, a mild-mannered average guy, is living a routine, boring life. One day his group of friends gets into an altercation with a group of other men and his brother gets stabbed. Joe feels powerless and guilty, then a childhood friend of his brother’s, Piggy, comes along and urges to Joe to avenge his brother’s death.
The themes of revenge and vigilantism are things that I enjoy exploring in films and literature. Piggy had some very brutal moments, some which will be uncomfortable viewing for some people but it wasn’t gratuitous violence and it was interspersed with a lot of character work. Martin Compston, who played Joe, carried the film well and I thought he showed a good portrayal of someone who on the outside appeared normal but inside had a lot of rage and guilt swirling around. Piggy, played by Paul Anderson, was a volatile presence and he constantly pushes Joe to the edges of sanity.
I thought the film was decent and I enjoyed the gradual transformation of Joe, but towards the end I thought it escalated too quickly. It felt rushed and the climax of the film felt like it was glossed over. The rest of the film moves at a good pace but I think it tries to be smarter than it is. There aren’t really any moral dilemmas presented and I think sometimes it’s quite lazy in how Joe & Piggy manage to track down some of the people they hunt.
So I think it’s a decent film and if you enjoy revenge flicks then it’s probably one you should check out at some point, but the ending is rushed and I think it wants to be a heavier, more philosophical film than it actually merits. I certainly don’t find myself reflecting on it that much.