The true story about the events the day of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 and the days following during the manhunt for the two men responsible.
Going in to Patriot’s Day, I was expecting it to be a little more dramatic than it really needed to. To my surprise it wasn’t like that at all. The first part of the film introduces us to the characters and develops them prior to the events of the bombing. At first I thought it was going to be a case of too many characters and not enough to do with them. But the script brilliantly used each character perfectly and gave them enough purpose. Although Michelle Monaghan’s character as Mark Wahlberg’s wife didn’t get much establishment, nor did Monaghan get very much screen time. But I guess since the film didn’t revolve that much around her I suppose that makes sense. After this happens we get the intense build up to the bombing as we see the characters coming together. Once the bombing does happen, it doesn’t take its time to linger, it moves fast as if we’re actually there. Following this we are only given very little time to breathe, because before we know it we’re thrust into the intense manhunt for the two bombers, as well getting time WITH the bombers that’s equally intense. By the time the film ends you feel yourself filled with relief and finally able to take a breath. For a film that runs 2 hours and 15 minutes long, it moves a pretty quick pace and never once is it boring. It’s super intense all the way through and gives us plenty of characterization to work with. From Lone Survivor, to Deepwater Horizon, and Patriot’s Day, Peter Berg really knows what he’s doing in the director’s chair. He relies on intensity, characters, emotion, and knows how to use time wisely. And he really knows how he wants scenes to go down. The scene with the bombing, and the shootout scene later in the film is so well-filmed and directed, there’s definitely a particular way that Berg wants us to see these moments, and that’s in real time and as if we’re there (as mentioned above). The slight humor thrown in some of the more serious moments work for the most part, but I’m sure there will always be the super touchy people who find it inappropriate. But more than anything, what makes this film incredible is that it shows the unity of Boston as a whole and how it wasn’t only the bravery of the law enforcement, but the involvement and bravery of its citizens standing together to help bring down these criminals. For me, it gives the Patriot’s Day holiday a completely different meaning, and how it can be about more than just military personnel. It’s anyone emitting bravery, courage, pride, and unity.
The cast does an amazing job as well. No one person stands out more than the rest because they all seem to understand their characters and bring them to life perfectly. Though I do wanna mention how ridiculous it is for some to say that Mark Wahlberg can’t act. Some roles may be questionable, yes, but you see him in roles like his last two Peter Berg films, and most especially this one, and Wahlberg knows how to put his heart and soul into a dramatic role and nail it.
Patriot’s Day is an extremely powerful and intense film that that holds you in its clutches the whole time thanks to the solid script, brilliant direction by Berg, and the outstanding performances by the cast.