I love movies. I love writing about them. Hope you like reading what I write.
Some people love this film, some find it offensive. Where do I lie? Can I be the one to end the debate?!
Patriots Day tells the true story of the Patriots Day bombings at the Boston Marathon in 2013 and the subsequent investigation.
I find it interesting to think that I’m now old enough to remember the events Hollywood is turning into films. I remember the Boston Bombings. I remember the manhunt. I remember I was nearly finished with my 5th year of High School.
Obviously to portray the events of that fateful week, some sensitivity would be required. What concerned me in the lead up to the release of this film was the idea it would portray the bombers as some overarching conspiracy right from the heart of ISIS, a narrative which plays into the hands of our enemies and those “on our side” who would use it to oppress Muslims.
Plus, the film’s trailer had Kevin Bacon, who plays a Special Agent of the FBI, say the words “It’s terrorism” in the most unintendedly hilarious way possible!
The stuff that works in Patriots Day is when we see the human level of both sides. After the explosions, the panic was real and the swift response of the people who were there to help is portrayed in a way that is simultaneously moving and terrifying.
Similarly, the bombers are portrayed honestly. They’re not evil geniuses led by other evil geniuses. They are idiots, misguided into believing that the flawed western world deserves only destruction from top to bottom.
I don’t mind the use of Mark Wahlberg as the eyes and ears of the whole scenario. His character, from what I can gather, is a fictional amalgam of various Boston Police Officers, meaning he can be placed in positions that would have been impossible for any one guy. He delivers a fine performance and has some of the most heart-breaking scenes of the film.
What irritated me to no end was this film’s cutesy showing off every character long before they’re important. I understand that many characters need a backstory, but it feels like every one of them came out of Fargo.
Don’t get me wrong, I love Fargo, but Fargo was a special case of using exaggerated homeliness to contrast the darkness. The way, Peter Berg, frames the situation is like a documentary, making certain showings of Boston affection a bit comical. I get they want to show who the good guys are but it’s a little too cute.
This is a more effective portrait of recent terrorism than other thrillers of its kind. Just take certain elements with a pinch of salt.
Recommended Scenario: If you want a pretty good film showing the resilience of a people when some asses put bombs in their street.