Five close friends, all of them married, share a loft to meet their mistresses. One day they find the body of a young woman in the loft. Since there are only five keys to the loft, the five men begin to suspect each other of murder.
Erik Van Looy
Koen De Bouw,
13-year-old Gunther Strobbe grows up surrounded by alcohol, trash and his completely useless father and uncles. Slowly but surely, he's being prepared for the same hapless life. Can he defy his destiny?
Felix van Groeningen
Koen De Graeve
After an over-cocky inter-forces 'anti-terrorism' game in which he damaged the minister's car, Belgian Army special ops diver Rick Symons is transferred to the Navy. Alas, in Koksijde ... See full summary »
Koen De Bouw
The missing persons unit of the Belgian federal police goes all the way each time a child or adult is likely to be in need of urgent help. Some cases are just domestic or false alerts, ... See full summary »
Stan Van Samang,
Elise and Didier fall in love at first sight, in spite of their differences. He talks, she listens. He's a romantic atheist, she's a religious realist. When their daughter becomes seriously ill, their love is put on trial.
Felix van Groeningen
Upon the death of her husband, Claire (70) decides to reconnect with her estranged son, down and out R&B musician Sid. She asks him to help her restart the old girl group she used to sing ... See full summary »
Lucas Van den Eynde
The eleven year old cycling talent Freddy is the son of a butcher in an idyllic village in no man's land. His isolated life is turned upside down completely in 1975 when the first ... See full summary »
Peter Van den Begin,
Female detective Hannah Maes leads a police squad, specialized in sexual offenses. A smaller, but important part of the story is about the private quest of Hannah. She investigates a past ... See full summary »
Call me chauvinistic if you want, but I'm generally very proud of the fiction series that my country brings forward. Belgium particularly seems to specialize in crime/police series that are often extremely violent, but also benefit from quality scripts, terrific ensemble casts and suitable filming locations & decors. You have for example "Witse", "Zone Stad", "Aspe" and "Vermist". Each of them takes place in a famous big Belgian city (Antwerp, Bruges, Halle ) and has its own identifiable trademarks and gimmicks. "Code 37" is also such a successful series; set in Ghent and centering on a police unit that exclusively deals with sexual offenses. In order to launch the third and final season, the producers decided to surprise the audience with a long-feature motion picture released in theaters. The idea is definitely interesting, but also quite risky at the same time, since a film attracts new viewers that don't know anything about the characters' backgrounds and/or possible recurring themes from previous episodes. This is exactly what happens in "Code 37" Throughout the first two truly magnificent seasons, the series loyally followed a specific pattern. Every episode revolved on one particular sex crime, but there was also the gradually unfolding mystery of lead protagonist Hannah Maes' private investigation and adolescent trauma. When she was a teenager, masked men invaded her home and brutally raped and killed her mother while she and her father were forced to watch. The crime was never solved and to this day Hannah is convinced that there's a convoluted conspiracy behind it. In the film, her investigation suddenly accelerates (to the point of nearly getting solved) but it must be completely incomprehensible for people that are new to the series. For example, I followed the series since the beginning give or take a few episodes but I watched the film with my girlfriend who never saw a "Code 37" episode before. I found myself providing her with additional feedback and background information on all the characters, so maybe it's not such a great idea to do a movie in the middle of a running show. Except of course if you don't want to attract viewers that weren't already familiar with it, but I can hardly imagine this is a successful marketing tactic.
That being said, I want to emphasize that I still very much like the concept of "Code 37", even though the script here is significantly weaker than most of the episodes in the previous seasons. In general, this is a truly uncompromising and often shockingly raw series with plausible character drawings (the cops as well as the villains/victims) and plentiful of graphic action and sex sequences. One of the main reasons why the series comes across as realistic is because that the players talk in their own dialect and slang, which is often crude and vulgar. The violence and nudity featuring in each and every single episode is definitely not for people with a weak stomach and the amount of it is truly copious. If this series would air on American television, for example, I doubt that the any of the footage would survive the editing/cutting room. Like in all Belgian crime/police series, the cast is stupendous and solely exists of familiar and hugely reliable names (in the Flemish part of Belgium, that is, of course). Lead actress Veerle Baetens is excellent as Hannah Maes. She's one tough and seemingly invulnerable bitch on the outside, insecure and sensitive on the inside. It's pure class how Baetens portrays these opposite emotions. Her team exists of two macho males (Michael Pas and Marc Lauwrys) and one nerdish rookie (Gilles De Schrijvere). The chemistry between the four leads is excellent. If you are interested in the format, please start from the beginning and NOT with the movie. The chronological order is: season one, season two, movie, season three.
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