Piggy (2012) Poster

(I) (2012)

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Piggy in the middle of film makers trying to make a living.
hitchcockthelegend17 March 2014
Piggy is written and directed by Kieron Hawkes. It stars Martin Compston, Josh Herdman, Neil Maskell, Louise Dylan and Paul Anderson. Music is by Bill Ryder-Jones and cinematography by James Friend

When his brother is killed by thugs, Joe (Compston) is persuaded to mete out vengeance by his brother's friend, Piggy (Anderson).

Piggy, not exactly a great title really, is a good film, it really is. That is if one can skip back nearly 20 years and embrace the idea at its core all over again. We see it a lot these days, good films from the independent side of cinema shot down in flames by critics, both professional and amateur, because there is no originality on show. And even when a new twist is added to a staple genre, it stands no chance of gaining a weighty amount of critical support.

Piggy is far from flawless, I would be surprised if writer and director Kieron Hawkes was on record as saying that is the case. It's a film that will always suffer by comparison to a couple of huge critical darling movies that came out of America and the UK previously. I will not mention them, because that pretty much spoils the core of Piggy, something so many amateur reviewers and message board posters fail to grasp. But I grumpily digress...

Piggy is a violent picture, much like its lead protagonist in fact, but in amongst the blood and bone crunching, there's smart narrative splinters about alienation, fear of society, fear of violence and yes! Fear of finding the dark half of yourself taking over. So nothing new there of course, especially in British cinema during the gritty realism wave that has become something of a forte in my lifetime. But they are there and shows the film to have more to offer than merely being yet another London based stabathon.

Cast are good, with Compston once again proving to be a very under rated actor capable of really tuning into the art of under playing a role with confusion and sincerity of conflicting emotions. Anderson is scary as the title character, if a touch too cartoonish, while Maskell shows no signs of wanting to break free of the hard-man typecasting that now defines his career. Friend's cinematography is sometimes guilty of being too murky, and the "metallic" colour lenses favoured on occasions are a mistake since it's not a sci-fi or neo-noir movie.

Yet for all its inherent flaws and rawness, and the fact it owes its very being to other more lauded productions, Piggy should not be discounted as being a viable British slice of grit. The blood hounds are catered for, and those with a bent for the tints of emotionally damaged characters should definitely consider viewing this. It deserves better than its current internet rating and Kieron Hawkes, clearly a work in progress, might just be someone for British film fans to keep an eye on. 7/10
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Not the greatest in this genre.
deloudelouvain7 April 2019
After seeing the great poster and reading just enough about it without spoiling that it will be a revenge movie I was pretty excited about this movie. Nothing beats a good vigilante movie, taking the law into your own hands when justice hasn't been served, it's a genre that I enjoy. But unfortunately Piggy isn't that great. It's way too slow and the alleged violence is all off screen so it's all guessing that there is a severe beating going on. Let's just face it, in this genre there are way much better movies. The acting was okay, the story has a little twist but not interesting enough to be remembered, I'm already glad I managed to stay awake.
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I must have been watching a different film
bowmanblue31 May 2014
I was about to start my review when I happened to read some of the others. Now I feel I must have severely missed something in 'Piggy.' It's a story about a young man in London called Joe, whose brother is murdered by a gang of thugs, leaving Joe to meet up by chance with a mysterious stranger who calls himself 'Piggy' then embark on a revenge spree.

Basically, I didn't like it. I found the characters completely dull and one dimensional, plus, if you've read either the blurb about the film or what I've written about, you might as well just skip the first twenty minutes or so, as you'll know everything that happens. Then there's the music. I found it a little over the top. If you were supposed to feel sorry for a character, all you get is a loud, emotional violin tune, making sure we know that we're supposed to feel sorry for them.

People have said that Piggy is a violent film. Personally, I couldn't see it. Yes, people hit other people and then kill them. However, much of the visual violence always happens out of shot, leaving you to only witness someone punching someone you can't see.

Basically, someone described this as a 'poor man's Fight Club' and I think that basically sums up the film. Judging by what other people wrote about it, it seems to have found a following and good luck to it for that. It just wasn't for me.

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A meaningless life finds a meaning in vengeance
OJT10 July 2013
Films about revenge are many and not all of them has made it into the history books. Neither this, but still this deserves some attention.

The shy boy Joe lives a somewhat meaningless life. He is an underachiever which re-finds a meaning of life when his older brother takes him up, and brings him into his group of friends. Everything seems a little more meaningful, until an innocent incident started by Joe later on is what's the reason for a gang killing off his brother in meaningless violence. The "Piggy" shows up on Joe's doorstep, and starts twisting his mind in a violent direction.

This is the start of a gruesome vengeance and a turmoil of violence. This is a violent film, but well done. It's dark, brutal and horrific, and nothing to watch if you can't stand violence. the violence is not of the most graphic, but impossible to ignore. It difficult to watch, thanks to the sounds and techniques, but it easily haunts you after-wards.

The film is slow paced, and made in beak colors, suitable for Joe's dull life. the film has some trouble with the pace, and leaves us bored when it shouldn't. This will be a problem for many. Joe is well played by Martin Compston and Paul Anderson is good as Piggy. Louise Dylan isn't top notch compared with the two others, and struggles acting believably, and should improve her method acting.

Absolutely a film to use in a debate for reasons of violence, and once again a typical loner and weak guy, being picked up and processed and developed into a violent figure. There's always leaders and followers in these matters. is this convincing? well. Decide yourself.

References made to "A Clockwork Orange" and "Fight club" is quite far off as a whole, though some scenes are inspired.
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This little piggy... Killed a lot of people.
natashabowiepinky22 May 2013
SPOILER: Beware Greeks bearing gifts, or in this case an old schoolfriend turning up on your doorstep whose methods of helping you cope with your brother's murder are by taking out his five aggressors one by one. It sounds like a good deal, but when you're subjected to the sort of violence he dishes out, not only would you be implicated in his crimes but your mind will be changed forever. Not that the justice system is much help these days, but its better than walking around in a pig mask seeing people getting their throats cut or heads trampled into mush.

To be admired in this film is the main character's transformation from mild-mannered delivery boy to psychotic avenger; this is isn't an overnight metamorphosis, his gradual change feels natural and unforced. Well, under the influenced of a charismatic maniac like 'Piggy', who could fail to be warped beyond recognition? Another point this movie proves is sometimes the sound effects of someone getting tortured is far worse than seeing the evil act in motion. There are some parts that we're not witness to that could be mistaken for someone slicing open a particularly juicy melon. I think its safe to say that isn't the case...

Overall, a bit overlong and disturbing, but a good watch nonetheless. Just one question: Just WHAT was in that bag at the end?! If its what I think it is, it seems highly unlikely he would get away with it... 6/10
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A stylishly made psychological character study that feels the need to give way to cartoonish spectacle
mwilson197617 June 2020
Joe (Martin Compston) ), is a meek office messenger who struggles with the fear he feels living in modern day London. After his brother is murdered by a gang of thugs he is befriended by a mysterious stranger named Piggy (Paul Anderson) who persuades him to extract a gory revenge against those responsible. What appears to be another cheap slasher featuring a killer in a goofy rubber pig's nose, is actually a stylishly made psychological character study that accentuates mood and motivation instead of grizzly body counts and typical horror movie trappings. Writer and director Kieron Hawkes demonstrates bags of technical talent in a movie that feels the need to give way to cartoonish spectacle rather than concentrating on a script where we cared about the characters. It never really gets too deeply into the issues it wants to explore, and while it tries very hard to be original, it really isn't anything you've seen before.
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Very dark & very violent...
cat_ranchero19 May 2013
I found this very dark with extreme levels of violence, For the most part the acts of violence are not actually shown on the screen, they are alluded to enough to make you cringe though. Great performances all round, particularly from Paul Anderson; he played the part superbly! Martin Compston wasn't all that bad either! As revenge thrillers go, this may not be the best, but it's certainly one of the darkest I've seen in a long time. Maybe it's just too dark and that's the trouble with it; I found myself looking at my watch in places which is never a good sign. Certainly worth seeing for Paul Anderson's performance but definitely not one for the squeamish.

SteelMonster's verdict: RECOMMENDED (Just)

My score: 5.9/10

You can find an expanded version of this review on my blog: Thoughts of a SteelMonster.
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This little piggy had roast beef
shawnblackman28 September 2016
A British revenge thriller by first time directing Kieron Hawkes. This one has a young man known only as Joe dealing with his boring life and then the sudden murder of his older brother by several men after a bar fight. Days later a friend of his brother shows up called Piggy. He convinces Joe to get revenge with him on all those involved. The two of them do their own justice.

A good flick with some debatable morals (this little piggy had none) and a twist near the end. This one has some violence but its not dragged out torture scenes. The acting was awesome. You watch Joe who is the world's biggest wimp slowly growing bigger nads as the film progresses. The character Piggy has more issues than anybody can imagine and you always wonder what he's getting out of this self esteem 101 course.

It's not going to the best film you'll watch but it will entertain.
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Nothing to recommend it, unless you enjoy puerile vengeance flicks...
FountainPen20 May 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I rate "Piggy" 2/10 because there are some flicks that are considerably worse than this unfortunate attempt at movie-making. I've alerted for spoilers simply because I gave away the drive in this pic --- it is a vengeance movie, poorly executed, with piggy disguises being the only novel element introduced to the palette. Many scenes are dull, too long, scripting sadly lacking in power & drive. Overall, a dull, depressing flick that is quickly and easily forgotten. A shame.
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Piggy is your best friend now, Great movie. Ignore naysayers.
deadbull-951719 May 2021
Warning: Spoilers
Something "terrible happens" to your beloved brother. And the legal system does its thing and nothing happens. And as angry as you are, you are too weak to take matters into your own hands. But then something does happen. Out of the blue, a knock on your door, and there stands your brother's best friend, Piggy!

And like an avenging angel he is gonna convince you and 'empower' you to d**m well not let this slide. Of course, by the time you realize that Piggy has a very special hidden agenda, and you would not really suspect that except now you are reading this, some pretty hideous things have occurred. Piggy has become your new mentor and releasing catalyst for all your suppressed rage.

But now you have become well aware of your dependency and loss of control and personal identity to the much stronger part of this dyad, and on top of that, now see how you are completely awake to the indisputable fact that you are merely an excuse for Piggy to have some fun. By definition criminal sociopaths are conscience-exempt. But to be really good they need an exquisitely refined sense of empathy with their victims or whoever they wish to exploit, like any calculating CEO, most of who are just well integrated sociopaths, a different topical subdivision to be sure.

And now that you see how you have been used, and Piggy delightedly reveals his true opinion of you, without detailing his true motives, which more or less have eloquently spoken for themselves, you may consider yourself quite lucky to be alive, at least for the time being. But something has been bestowed upon you. You have absorbed his murderous and gleeful sociopathy and are ready for the final step. And that is where this spoiler stops spoiling, except to say the final facial glimpse you get may recall Anthony Perkins facial expression at the end of Hitchcock's Psycho.

This, to me , is an exceptionally fine movie, that incidentally happens to be a horror movie, filmed on a low budget that is totally appropriate to the settings that give this such a plausible feel. Its strength is in the actors depth and deft characterizations of people with deep-fringe traits. It is almost a study of the dyadic nature of murder teams, a criminal phenomenon first well brought to film with the great original In Cold Blood, to which this movie of course doffs its hat.

There are no good guys here. Like the line from the first Exorcist movie, the Blatty /Friedkin original, it's evil versus evil, but with no priest. Piggy is the priest offering the blood benedictions. There is no redemption, just the promise of more to come. This one could take a sequel, but somehow I doubt it, which just makes this more valuable.

As I type, I see that Piggy is itself criminally underrated here at 5.6. Just what I'd expect. This is not a mindless movie about a demonic madman romping through a forest, the staple of low budget set pieces, hacking away at 5 screaming teenage girls in short cut-off jeans. This one gets into it. And you should get into this movie.

I don't care if it's comedy, or drama, or bio or horror or Western etc, without characters that have character, it's nothing,..... reminds me of one of Hackman's lines in Eastwood's Unforgiven. And the focus here, despite the brutality, is on Piggy and the acolyte he finds. Should you watch it? You bet.
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Excellent film
There's some great reviews here so I won't rehash all that's been said, but this was a very good film. While done as an independent film, the progression and motif is done almost identically to Fight Club - the protagonist offers a linear (for the most part) narrative on and off throughout the movie, and while the technique has been used often, it is not always effective. With "Piggy" it is very effective as the juxtaposition and progression of the protagonist is both physics and emotional/mental.

All facets of the film are well done:
  • solid acting
  • excellent direction
  • cinematography is good. Not great, but good. The director could have done a bit more to capture the underside of London, especially since the anti-hero Piggy mentions something to this effect at the end of the first act.
  • sound and lighting were great, without being overly intrusive.

For those curious, the film is extremely violent, but most of it is not seen. It is, however, heard on most occasions, which produces the effect the director was after, just sans gore. There are a couple gory moments, but they were well chosen and the special fx were excellent.

I'm not sure why folks are panning the film with the bad reviews, as it was honestly one of the better revenge flicks I've seen in a long time. My guess is that those who didn't care for it were expecting something different than they got, considering the synopsis is dead-on correct with how the plot unfolds and the story is told. I will likely even watch this again in a few days.

The only true gripe I have is that the dialog is difficult to hear in a few places, and the thick cockney accents meant that I had to rewind and listen with the volume up on a handful of occasions. That could be my playback system, so YMMV.

Definitely worth watching if you like British films, revenge flicks, violent movies, or just want something that tells a cool story. Very close to a 9 for me.
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Pretty good film
rosecalifornia22 August 2015
Camera angles, filters, lighting, sets, sound, music - everything that makes a film watchable is actually here. The acting is good, believable, not forced. The person(s) that made/directed/scripted this movie actually have talent. Unlike what we currently see churned out from certain film makers.

This film tells a story - it unfolds slowly so you need to be patient and let it build. Sure it is not a blockbuster, however it is not a waste of time, which most "thrillers" or "horror" tend to be for many years.

It almost gives the vibe of a superhero murderer in various parts of dialogue - not that it is bad - but it is quite different. Then, without giving anything away - you almost get a feel that one of the characters could almost be the subconscious of someone speaking to them. It makes you want to know where the director was educated, because he knows what he is doing - and will be interesting to see what he creates in the coming years.
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Much better than I expected
darksyde-6350827 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Although this movie starts out rather slowly, it turned out to be much better than I expected. A couriers brother, who he is very close to, is jumped, seriously injured, put in the hospital, and dies after being attacked by a group of punks one night. After the brothers funeral, the courier is approached by Piggy, who claims to be an old friend of his brothers. After Piggy gains his trust and confidence, they both go go out one night and stalk someone who Piggy says is one of his brothers killers, who Piggy assaults. Later on, it seems there is more going on with Piggy then first appeared, and the courier must figure out what to do. This is a good psychological thriller, and while it is slow going in the beginning, and bogs down again later on, it is worth a watch.
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Gratuitous, Predictable and Stupid
bobbybits17 May 2013
Warning: Spoilers
A ridiculous film although I'm sure some will be dumbfounded enough to view, hoping they get a guardian psycho for Xmas.

The repetition of lines with closeups of smiles and expressions, and stupid narrations. These where the real killer These aside this film is littered with holes that offer no explanation and contradict what has been shown. How did Piggy get into Joe's flat continuously when he would deadbolt his door 5 times. A person dies without water in 3 days yet that time had past from victims 2 and 3 before they went back and moved victim 1. Piggy must have taken care of it surely. I know he was wearing a piggy nose, this meant he was also a pig at kissing Claire on the nose. Blood splatter everywhere, while puking. This in London which you can name most of the streets in this film, must have be art though. Meant he walked about the happy narrating psycho undetected and unobserved. I was annoyed specifically at how contrary the finish. Specifically Piggy's code. Don't kill innocents otherwise you are as bad as those who have done you wrong. Piggy left him alone, to interpret this meaning as to kill the Ex who was as much a pig as I snog noses. While dropping off those body parts with a note, where they mailed. In England, a piggy a pig or a psycho, yea I'm sure.

The plus side it had decent cinematography and sound. The rest was seamlessly flat.

3 out of 10 both tedious and stupid
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Overpowering soundtrack volume
LindsayFlim25 June 2014
The film was well paced and quite entertaining but the thing that stood out immediately was the sound post-production quality. It seems like there were quite a lot of hands on this area so I cannot quite fathom how the final version was allowed to be released like this.

Yes, the soundtrack was outstanding, but no soundtrack should be showcased to the detriment of the film's dialogue which contains most of the essential plot. By looking at the credits, I'd point the finger at Tarn Willers - it's just not a great effort.

I think it was also unnecessary to flood every moment of suspense with music and at the same time have it at a volume level which drowned out the signal of everything else.
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digitald-431 May 2012
This is a good movie. I know its a good movie because it was (for me anyway) very disturbing. Bringing back painful scenes of youth I would sooner forget it was an interesting experience to relive those seens from the safe distance that movies can and do offer.

In real life and from a psychological perspective in terms of the role's people can play out as by-product of any given environment (ref: Healing the shame that binds you: John Bradshaw). That it could be possible that when Joe's brother is killed, Joe could fill in the slot is absolutely possible. There is an odd tendency in life to take on the form of that which we fear most.. hence Joe turns into "not a" but "the very self-same" killer that killed his brother.

So, there is interesting stuff here. A vivisection of the human psyche pitted against the question of what would you do if...? Or other questions like.. what master do you serve? Is your life mediocre? If so, whats your excuse? Whatever the case and whatever the questions the movie works. It does the job. As well, the acting in this movie is (ALL THE WAY AROUND) absolutely top notch. So you got excellent acting, photography, subject matter.. what more could you ask for? A movie about love? Now there's a scary topic for ya - if for no other reason than that love has always and will always win and will always get the last word - no exceptions.

PS: Cheer up... Hollywood has yet to successfully put a monkey on film.
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smirnofred30 May 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Contains spoiler.

Piggy is nothing more than your typical run of the mill revenge film. It's predictable as hell, to the point it becomes plain boring. If you make it half way through this film you'll be clock watching to see how long is left.

There's no amazing twist either, which is the only reason I sat through the whole film (I was hoping to go 'oh so that's why that happened; only to be sorely let down), and to make things even less believable the characters that get murdered just vanish! Decapitated bodies tend not to be ignored you know. The highly brutal murder scenes are comical in the sense they had next to no blood in them regarding the injuries inflicted, or any kind of blood transfer to the murderers! It's the small details which really matter, and this film overlooked every single one.

Seriously, don't waste your time with this one.
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This little Piggy went wee wee wee
bazt-9396416 May 2017
Superb raw slice of urban banality. Great to see Martin Compton in an obscure little number like this - of course he has recently been in the spotlight as part of the popular BBC series Line of Duty. It's uncompromising but very watchable. Someone here was complaining about the soundtrack. Don't listen it's superb - by Bill Ryder Jones from just down the road here in Wirral.
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good enough
btockman19 June 2012
Piggy was a movie that had grabbed my attention with just the briefest of descriptions "a new breed of vigilante". Disturbing in its portrayal of a young man who isn't really living life until his brother's violent death sparks him into action, deadly action. Piggy was well-acted yet I kind of felt it was trying to be something more than what it was, failing in its attempt to be a thought provoking psychological thriller. The plot wavers between realism and being absurd, at some points just plain bizarre. With this all in mind, accepting the movie as just a typical revenge film it's not bad, not good, but not bad. Don't expect much and you won't be disappointed.
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Definitely worth it
chungadaddy29 May 2012
It has been a while since I have paid to see a movie and felt that it was worth it afterwards.

The plot is ingenuously written. The outcome is a familiar one but most likely not the one you predicted at the beginning of the movie, nor the one you adjusted the plot to at the middle of it.

The actors deliver a solid performance. I feel it is hard to be an indifferent or distant spectator. You can easily build empathy towards the characters, especially with Joe.

Overall I feel that perhaps a 7/10 for some may not be fairest rate. Therefore I am going to try to explain what 7/10 means to me: it is a solid movie, with an interesting plot, with enough deepness to allow getting caught up in it, good characters and good actors. It has its pertinence and entertainment value. It is worth seeing it. For me, it will not the most memorable movie nor will revolutionize movie history. It is simply a good flick.
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Underrated British Thriller, give it a go!
resistance-3462931 January 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I first heard of Piggy when I saw it in my local video store, with its bold and brash 18+ certificate, a friend and I thought it would be a great movie to watch for the night. However, on our first viewing of the film we were fairly disappointed as we were just expecting more from the film. My original rating I would have given this was probably a 5.5, but after watching it again 2 years later, my score has gone up to a 7.

Piggy has flaws but it's certainly a good ride, the film felt very ambient and atmospheric in scenes where there is minimal dialogue and emphasizes the main character's lonely life after his brother's death. However, this is contrasted to brutal beatdowns performed by Piggy and his malicious intent on delivering revenge to Joe's (main character) brothers killers. I thought these two deliveries were good against each other and provided more emotion and character development within the story. I especially adored the lighting in some scenes particularly the torture warehouse/toilets and Piggy's apartment at the end of the film where Joe goes to see him. This orange dim light was mesmerizing and I really thought it helped capture the film's emotion and dark tone.

Acting is very good and Piggy is definitely the standout character, he is a confident killer and a complete maniac, I was surprised to see the actor who plays him didn't have a bigger film repertoire as he was very impressive! One of the complaints I have read about the film is the repetition of dialogue and I did actually notice this on my second viewing. I admit that it was quite unnecessary to say the line "it was a terrible thing that they did" 5 times (yes I counted) but the purpose of Piggy saying this was to try to aggravate Joe and motivate him to violence towards his brother's killers. This is justified when Piggy buys Joe a huge butcher's knife for Joe's "love of cooking" when obviously it's another subtle hint to Joe to kill them. So yes the repetition of that dialogue could have been done in a better way to be honest.

The violence in the film is actually much more graphic than I remembered, there is an off screen head smashing by Piggy which is totally brutal even though you don't see the remains. However, the sound effects of the head squishing under Piggy's boot are brutal and when he puts a sheet over the man's non - existent head, it further implies how violent it is and leaves a lot to the imagination.

There is a twist at the end of the movie as well and to be completely honest I didn't completely understand it and I couldn't find any proper explanations of it online, maybe one day there will be a full plot explanation!

Piggy is an underrated British Thriller that is well worth your time. If you like the streets of London, strong accents, a very interesting character (Piggy), atmosphere and ambiance, violence and a mature film with dark content? Then this is your film. I picked this up dirt cheap so I definitely recommend picking this movie up on DVD.
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I loved this film from start to finish!
I loved this film and I felt that this was one of those rare treats that instantly grabs you and delivers an amazing story from start to finish. Excellent acting and the main characters, Joe, John and Piggy were very likable.

Despite Piggy's dark side I was instantly drawn to him emotionally because he was charming with a rugged appearance and he was violently ruthless but also still had a tender side. Regardless to what his true motives were he was still a positive force in Joe's life who was able to give him the push he needed to no longer be a victim.

I strongly recommend that if you have not seen this film, you should definitely add it to your must see list.
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Piggy Review
weeallig9624 June 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I first saw Piggy two days ago and, from what I had heard of the film, wasn't expecting much. Therefore I was surprised when I was almost instantly sucked into the life of Joe. I felt frustration mixed with sympathy as I quickly realised his life as a human doormat. This was just as quickly lost as Piggy was introduced, a mysterious, eccentric character who is eager to help Joe exact revenge on his brothers killers. From the very first violent and exhilarating fatality by the hand of Joe's new partner, the film became a fast-paced, bloody revenge thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat until the ultimate twist. Although a bit far fetched at times, I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes a good, fast, gritty British thriller.
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