The Movie Waffler New Release Review [VOD] - PATRICK | The Movie Waffler

New Release Review [VOD] - PATRICK

patrick 2020 film review
The caretaker of a nudist camp investigates the disappearance of his beloved hammer.

Review by Eric Hillis

Directed by: Tim Mielants

Starring: Kevin Janssens, Jemaine Clement, Pierre Bokma, Hannah Hoekstra, Ariane Van Vliet

patrick 2020 film poster

A movie is already off to a winning start when its drama plays out in a unique setting. That's certainly the case with Tim Mielants' comedy Patrick. The setting here is a nudist camp in rural Belgium, where the titular Patrick (Kevin Janssens), the camp's ostensible janitor, enters his workshop one morning to find one of a set of seven prized hammers has gone missing.

patrick 2020 film review

What follows is an absurdist reworking of a classic detective film. Much like how Rian Johnson's Brick transplanted the trappings of noir to an American high school, so does Mielants riff on the plot structure of The Maltese Falcon, with Patrick assuming the Bogart role as he encounters all manner of possible suspects, femme fatales and villains in his quest to retrieve his beloved tool, uncovering possible conspiracies and powerplays amongst the camp's denizens.

patrick 2020 film review

But Patrick is no Sam Spade, rather he's painfully shy, withdrawn to the point of near non-existence, a factor which lends itself well to the cringe comedy at play here, particularly in an extended brawl in a cramped caravan, a contender for the best fight scene since Roddy Piper and Keith David traded blows in They Live.

patrick 2020 film review

It's testament to the effectiveness of both Mielants' storytelling and Janssens' sympathetic central performance that the novelty setting quickly becomes rudimentary, and every now and then you find yourself suddenly realising you've been sucked into a drama in which boobs and willies are constantly dangling in your face.

Patrick is on UK VOD from November 20th.

2020 movie reviews