Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Film: 'Patriots Day'

For the most part I found this an impressive film, managing to create quite a degree of adrenalin-pumping suspense in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon terrorist bombings of 2013, despite our knowing how it ends.
It's useful to see on film police tactics in trying to identify the culprits and their pursuit of the bombers, the two Tsarnaev brothers. It's all too recent in our memories for the film to have taken gross liberties with the facts.

I'm not an especial Mark Wahlberg fan, still carrying with him, as he does in my mind, all that Marky Mark baggage. Though he gets top billing here, his fictitious police officer character is not as omnipresent as that might suggest, his filmic function being to provide that personal  'common touch' of a police officer with a family, which none of the other characters do - apart from the bombers themselves. 
John Goodman, Kevin Bacon (too infrequent on our cinema screens) and J.K.Simmons give the film some necessary weight, and all perform their roles very well.

The re-creating of the actual marathon site with the runners before the bombs were detonated is thoroughly convincing, deadly explosions taking place just half an hour into the film. Thereafter it's the pursuit of those responsible including such policies of how far the public should be informed when the likely suspects are identified. All portrayed as gripping stuff, I felt, notwithstanding our knowing how things are going to play out. Especially tense is when the brothers take a hostage. 

I've really got no substantial criticism of the film. Director Peter Berg (who also directed last year's 'Deepwater Horizon', again with Wahlberg) kept my interest throughout, and managed to ratchet up the tension as required with unobtrusive rhythmic-pulsing background.

I got my two-hours worth of 'entertainment' in both time and money................7


  1. Had no desire to go see it - didn't do well over here, the only people who seemed to like it were those from Boston.

    1. Maybe it's so recent that emotions are still raw, Dave? But then if so it wouldn't have done so well in Boston. It's not doing terribly well over here in the U.K. either.
      I had an interest in that I used to do a lot of running myself, many half-marathons - though just the one marathon, in London '97 - so that gave it an added attraction. As it turned out it's only in the film's opening quarter that we see much running at all, then it becomes a thriller. But I'd be lying if I pretended I didn't like the film.

  2. I have a thing about these sort of "ripped from the headlines" movies; I think they'd play better on cable .... or Lifetime!

    1. True, there is the criticism that it's using an event involving death and suffering not yet four years old in order to generate a profit, which is validly questionable. On the other hand (if there is one) it informs one better the the news reports at the time, as to what actually happened, as in this film they could hardly play fast and loose with reality as it was (one presumes).