Patriots Day review by Adrijan Arsovski - Cinema Paradiso
The trouble with these kinds of movies pertaining to recent tragedies that negatively affect public interests is that it’s almost impossible to objectively judge the film itself whist distanced from the real-world event the film’s based upon. With that in mind, Patriots Day is a decent film that unfortunately does not fulfill its full potential like, say, Oliver Stone’s JFK did some years back. To this extent, Patriots Day is a good rendition, a solid try, but an ultimate miss of a story that could’ve been explored bigger, better, and deeper as opposed to the finished product audiences got in the end.
Patriots day is directed by Peter Berg and stars Mark Wahlberg, John Goodman, Michelle Monaghan, and others. The film heavily draws from several police officers’ experiences at the exact days the bombs went off (Boston Marathon Bombings) and merges these experiences into Wahlberg’s Tommy Saunders – an uncompromising, tough police officer with clear ideals and a special knack for justice. Which tells just one side of the whole story.
The second part of the story is inevitably the people who committed the crimes, i.e. bombings. As shown in the film, these individuals are not some faceless antagonists who want to do bad just for the sake of it, but rather people with names, surnames, and their own personal agendas and underlying causes as well. But as we come to learn, sometimes even the noblest of intentions (however disillusioned they may be) can harm the well-being of others, of innocents.
Patriots Day falters in many respects, with the main one being the overt-dramatization and bloating of everyday events that are as boring as buying a carton of milk. And because the film itself has to appeal to a certain audience in order to sell, the team behind it did everything in their power to inflate certain events and even come up with nonexistent ones in order to achieve that “bigger than life” feel that just doesn’t work as well as they envisioned it. The story of the 2013 bombing marathon is just too recent to transform it into a compelling thriller. In fact, where Edward Snowden’s Citizenfour succeeds, Patriots Day falters, mainly because it’s shot as a TV flick whereas it would’ve worked better if it’d received the documentary treatment instead. But alas, it wasn’t meant to be: the tentacles of Hollywood probe deep, expand and contract at their own leisure, and hold little regard for what audiences actually want to see VS what they THINK audiences should see. It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy of doom: what people say they like usually turns the other way around when all is said and done.
Finally, Patriots Day is a decent film depicting recent history the way the United States sees it, and this is perfectly fine as long as you’re a citizen of Uncle Sam’s.