Let’s talk about Patrick.

But before that, I want to discuss using the word porn as a suffix. It’s now an established part of the English language. If something is designed purely to make someone who has a particular interest happy, it is described as something porn. You probably all know about food porn but I’ve seen so many different things using this as a suffix. Heck, I’ve seen particualrly amazing bedrooms be called bedroom porn, which I just thought was just normal porn.

This brings me onto Patrick, which is just pug porn. You can tell from the trailer I posted up there that this movie has not been made with an intent to have a good story or funny jokes. It has been created to make the most of the pug phenonemon. Pug porn, if you will. Pugs are fashionable dog breeds at the moment, saying that makes me a little sick in the mouth, and if you can move a load of merchandise with their faces on, why not market a movie on the basis of the fact there is a pug in it where owners can go and remark ‘Oh that’s just like my pug!’.

In this movie, Sarah’s life is in a mess when her grandmother dies and bequeaths her Patrick the pug in her will. The problem is that she hates dogs, Patrick has been spoiled and is a very naughty dog and of course the flat she lives in has a no pets policy.

The movie then proceeds as you’d expect. Patrick goes about causing trouble, chasing cats, eating food out of the fridge then deciding that said food would be better barfed up onto the floor where Sarah can then slip in it. The landlord is snooping around as he is suspicious that someone is breaking his no pets policy. The new job Sarah is at has a judgmental boss who would rather her get fired. Don’t get me wrong, this is all very terrible. The jokes are all hackneyed, badly excecuted pieces of rubbish that should exist here in 2018. But it is giving people what they expect out of the movie. The dog is getting up to plenty of antics and being cute as he should be and a plot was there. Sarah and Patrick don’t get on but there’s plenty of building blocks for them to meet in the middle somewhere.

However, the movie sorts that out remarkably quickly. They barely mention it but by the end of the first third, they get on. Sarah has fallen in love with Patrick and her longstanding hatred of dogs has disappeared. And Patrick is no longer the most troublesome dog in the world. He’s still mischevious but he’s now a pliant little doggy who’d be happy in any home. The movie then moves onto other matters such as Sarah’s love life and which guy is she going to pick, a girl who is having problems in school and the fun run which Sarah accidentally signed up for. Patrick plays no part in any of this. He is there, but he’s not key to the plot.

And that means the movie has no point. I can accept a pug porn, pugsploitation movie. One where the enjoyment comes from big pug fans watching another pug do all sorts of daft things. I would hate it for sure but there would at least be a reason for it to exist. But because the pug disappears as a plot device for the majority of the movie until the end, where the whole plot device is that he has ran away and hence is not in the movie anyway, it doesn’t even succeed at that. That’s just utter garbage and misselling of the highest order. I hated Mamma Mia: Here We Go Again but I can’t really say it didn’t do what it said on the tin by providing a load of ABBA songs badly sung. This movie does not provide what it says it will.

That’s why Patrick is one of the worst movies of the year. Not because it’s a badly written comedy that will only get people in seats because some people have a bizarre fascination with pugs. But because it does not provide enough of the pugs that people have bought their tickets for. That makes it not just a bad movie but a bad movie that doesn’t even give the people what they want. That’s the worst sin a movie can make.

Former Head of Movies for Screen Critics. Film Reviews now hosted on Medium.