The running of the annual Boston Marathon is also called Patriots Day. On April 15, 2013, two evil-doers who were brothers and devoted Muslims, planted and detonated bombs in the crowd near the finish line. Many innocent people in the crowd were injured and several died.
The IED’s were in backpacks placed on the ground which caused many to lose their limbs. It was a bloody tragedy.
Director/Co-writer Peter Berg might be recognized as “one of the big boys” for his work on this film; it’s that good. Of course I was confident that Patriots Day was going to be worthy because my movie friend Melinda K. had already seen it and eagerly explained to me that it was “well done.”
That’s one of those occasions when a close friend says something about a movie and you just know that they got it right. Kind of like this review. Insert smile.
Mark Wahlberg plays the lead as Sgt. Tommy Saunders of the Boston PD so we have a front-row seat in all of the action as we take the journey in up-close events of the bombing and the ensuring manhunt with Officer Saunders. This character was a piece of cake for the home-grown Bostonian Wahlberg who was born in Dorchester in 1971. His character exemplified “Boston Strong” which was the slogan born in the recovery and grieving of the local Bostonians and the world who witnessed this true story.
During the movie, I had many painful flashback emotions as the events unfurled especially when I knew that the bombs were about to detonate and that folks would be brutally hurt and killed. Berg skillfully keeps the camera shots close and tight on the faces of actors and props to put the audience in the middle of the suspense and chaos of this horrible tragedy.
The film keeps the focus on the disaster and heartbreak and does not bother to overly dwell on personalities other than the needed insights into the many law enforcement officers led by John Goodman as the Commissioner of the Boston PD and Kevin Freakin’ Bacon as the nervous, yet dictatorial, FBI Special Agent in charge when it was determined that this was the act of “terrorists.”
Berg’s direction and editing were marvelous and his balancing act between blood, bullets, and compassion were on the mark and suspenseful in spite of a ending still embedded in the memories of most of the audience.
This is an outstanding January movie; it’s goal is simple: to entertain and make money. Not awards. Thanks Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg. Rock ‘n Roll.
Grade 90. Larry H.