Patriots Day is a biopic film directed by Peter Burg and hosts an all-star cast, including Mark Wahlberg, John Goodman, and Kevin Bacon. It depicts the Boston Marathon Bombing that took place on April 15, 2013. For those who do not know, two young terrorists set off pressure cooker bombs during the 2013 Boston Marathon, which resulted in the deaths of multiple people and injuries of many others. A large manhunt ensued to find the terrorists following the bombing.
Our film begins with brief introductions to all of our main characters, all leading up to the Boston Marathon and the bombing. The majority of Patriots Day focuses on the manhunt for the men responsible for the attack, as we continually shift focus between many different characters.
To put it plain and simple, Patriots Day is the kind of film the makes you feel proud to be an American.
Patriots Day asks, and answers, what it means to be patriotic. All too often we lose faith in humanity when horrible acts like this are committed. However Patriots Day reminds us that for every asshole in the world there are hundreds of good people. We the audience get to see the city of Boston work together and really care for one another in these tragic times. We see police working with citizens, citizens working with police, the whole works. It felt good to see a movie stating that there is still good, brave people in the world. People willing to help each other in a time of crisis.
At about halfway into the movie the film turns into a crime drama scenario. It’s a race against the clock to hunt down the suspects of the bombing before they get the chance to do it again. From here the film takes on many crime show stereotypes, but in the best ways possible. We get a few small chase scenes, some dramatic detective work, and other general stuff you see in popular crime shows. Some events and scenes were a bit predictable in this area, but my interest and investment in what was happening on screen never waned once.
Patriots Day does a good job at intertwining real video footage from the bombing as well as surveillance footage of the bombers. It gives the film an even more realistic edge to it. I know Patriots Day is just a dramatization, but the film felt very real to me while viewing. I could tell that the filmmakers did their best to make the bombing feel as real as possible, including a lot of very gritty scenes.
All the performances are as expected in the film. Mark Wahlberg, John Goodman, and Kevin Bacon all give very good performances as Boston law enforcement officials. They all really added to how emotionally moving that Patriots Day is, especially Wahlberg and his poignant scenes.
Patriots Day ends with some monologues from the survivors of the bombing as well as police officers involved in the search for the terrorists. I felt this was both a good and fitting ending to the film. The survivors and police said some very strong and important words on terrorism, bravery, and caring for one another. It ends on a strong and uplifting note that, like I said, was fitting to the tone already established.
If you get the chance, go and see Patriots Day. It’s a good representation of the tragic events that took place back in April 2013. It has some amazing performances by great actors, a strong message, and stays true to the source material. Patriots Day is a good choice in film for anyone with a strong sense of patriotism.
The Verdict: A