Saturday, July 19, 2014

Patrick (2013)

Much like Maniac, a re-envisioning of a noted-but-flawed original, although I don't think Patrick succeeds as smashingly as that Elijah Wood hit.  The basics of the plot get ported over from 1978's Patrick—comatose Patrick lies around all day, involuntarily spitting, until a comely nurse arrives.  At this point, Patrick's Carrie-esque psychic abilities start manifesting themselves.  He specializes in hand damage, but also does some fine work with cars and mirrors. 

At least the visuals are significantly better.  This Patrick is very carefully constructed, with killer overhead shots and perfect color choices.  With the old architecture, subdued lighting, and muted colors, it feels like a period piece, until someone pops out a cell phone or earbuds to remind you that it's not.  

The acting's pretty solid, too.  And the score by Pino Donaggio is top-notch.  But here's the problem: a lot of this film brings yawns.  The early goings are slow, which is to be expected if you're setting up relationships and characters and stuff.  But, even after telekinesis is happening and blood gets loosed, it's still plenty unengaging.  One difficulty might be that our protagonista is established through interaction with a motionless hunk of flesh.  There's not much to draw viewers in, y'know?

In fact, the shift in tone from crawlingly slow to wow-explodey doesn't really mesh too well.  Especially when some very ill-advised CGI effects are added.  And, as stated, even the sudden injection of action into the plot didn't do much to charm me.

I'm a big advocate of remakes of the right kind of movies (one that could be improved by a second attempt).  Patrick would certainly seem to qualify and yet I suspect that this remake's only enduring legacy will be the immortal line "Patrick wants his handjob".  Such are the vagaries of fortune.


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