Thursday, January 19, 2017

Patriots Day Review

How about we take a trip down memory lane real quick? A trip to a rather devastating time in our country's history. On April 15, 2013, I was sitting on my couch watching Sports Center. At 2:49 p.m. Eastern Time, there was an explosion towards the finish line of the Boston Marathon. A block away and 13 seconds later, there was a second explosion. Chaos ensued. Over 250 people were injured and three people killed. Being that I was sitting there watching Sports Center, I got news of this almost immediately from ESPN and quickly switched over to CNN, where I was glued to my TV in shock as I witnessed all of this unfold. Here's a quick timeline of what I posted on my personal facebook about the Boston Marathon that week:

April 15:

"BREAKING NEWS: Multiple explosions just happened at the finish line of the Boston Marathon. Many people injured. Oh my horrible!!!"

In the comments on that post after a couple of my friends replied:

"Yeah I was just watching Sports Center and it was reported live and is all over the news. They showed footage of the explosions and they were pretty bad. They don't have a ton of details right now but it appears that there were bombs hidden in the trash cans. At least two, maybe more. Live footage is chaos and a lot of people hurt, some people said they have lost limbs."

April 16:

"At times like this, I wish people would show some respect and actually put aside their political party instead of wanting to spit in the President's face when he stands up to give the people in Boston some words of encouragement."

April 19 (early morning I believe):

"Taking a friend to the airport at 3:30 (a.m.), so how do I spend my night? Watching the drama in Boston unfold on CNN. So far after police officer shot and killed, a carjacking, and a shooting or two, suspect number one in Boston Marathon Bombing is dead, say the police. Praying that suspect number two gets caught asap."

Later on April 19:

"They got him!"

Then shortly after, I quoted two statements from the Boston Police Department (I think they came from twitter):

"CAPTURED!!! The hunt is over. The search is done. The terror is over. And justice has won. Suspect in custody."

"In our time of rejoicing, let us not forget the families of Martin Richard, Lingzi Lu, Krystle Campbell and Officer Sean Collier."

Yes, the Boston Marathon Bombing was a tragic event in our recent history and one of the worst terrorist attacks on our country following 9/11. But it was also an event that brought our country together, especially the city of Boston. In just four days, both of the suspects were apprehended and good prevailed over evil. Boston proved that they would not cower in the face of danger and became as resilient as ever. A year later, and every year since, the Boston Marathon continued bigger and stronger than ever. This is such an amazing story of unity and strength that shows how great this country is. More terrorist attacks and mass shootings have happened both in this country and around the world since the Boston Marathon bombing and in each case our country has united in faith and prayer, putting aside our differences and disagreements, to support the people in places like Paris and Orlando when tragic events have happened. It's at times like these when you are reminded that, despite all the horrific events happening in our world, there is still plenty of good in the world. In this ongoing battle of good vs. evil, evil may win some battles. They may instill fear in the hearts of the people and take some lives, but evil will not win the overall war. Good will prevail.

And now we have a movie. Because that's what we do in Hollywood these days. We turn all major events into movies. Yes, historical movies have been made since movies existed, but recently it's been an especially popular trend to make movies out of major recent news stories. Director Peter Berg has especially enjoyed doing these types of movies, using Mark Wahlberg as his lead star each time. I'm talking about "Lone Survivor" and "Deepwater Horizon" in addition to "Patriots Day." I don't know what to call this trilogy of movies by Peter Berg, or if he's even done making them, but it's been interesting. While not all of these movies in this trend have been a success and I am a bit weary of Hollywood getting too carried away with this -- I don't think it's necessary to turn every news story into a movie, Peter Berg himself has done a fantastic job. I loved both "Lone Survivor" and "Deepwater Horizon" and thus I was excited for "Patriots Day." While I think "Patriots Day" is the lesser of the three, I definitely think it's worth watching as it's another home run for Peter Berg. I'm genuinely curious what he has up his sleeve next.

I don't need to tell you waht this movie is about. You know this event and what happens. If you didn't, I practically spoiled the whole movie in my facebook timeline that I just posted to start this off. The bombing happens. The FBI declares it terrorism and takes over. The hunt to find these two people quickly begins and includes the shooting of an officer, a carjacking, shootouts with the police, one of the suspects being killed and the eventual capture of the second suspect shortly after he escapes. But obviously the point of the movie isn't to tell you a story you didn't know, it's to put you in the perspective of these people, the citizens of Boston, the two terrorists, the FBI and the Boston police. And it's definitely an interesting perspective. It's one thing watching everything happen live on CNN in 2013. But it's a whole experience being there with everyone in 2017 as this movie shows us firsthand what everyone on both sides were going through and it fills in the small details that you may have not been able to know just watching the events unfold on the news or reading about them in articles later on. Peter Berg handles everything with extreme care, delivering an excellent movie in the process.

Comparing this movie to "Deepwater Horizon," which was released back in September, I found it interesting how Peter Berg decided to construct each movie. In "Deepwater Horizon," Peter Berg decides to have the actual explosion occur at the climax of the film. While everything seems normal for all of our characters for the first half of the movie, we as an audience know that things aren't normal and thus the suspense continues to build throughout the run time of the film until suddenly everything goes boom and the last half of the movie is pure chaos and darkness. "Patriots Day" is constructed in a much different way. The character buildup is fairly quick and the bombing takes place in the first part of the movie, almost without warning. Which is exactly how it happened in real time. After several minutes of panic and chaos, which was super intense and graphic, things settle down a bit and the bulk of the movie is spent on manhunt finding these two terrorists. With the two movies being so close together in release, I did appreciate how he took a different approach to both movies as opposed to making the same movie twice with different events, which he could've very well done. Especially since we had Mark Wahlberg in the lead both times.

Speaking of Mark Wahlberg, I thought he did a great job in both movies. In my review of "Deepwater Horizon," I said he gave an Oscar-worthy performance that I hope gets him some awards recognition. It hasn't of course. "Deepwater Horizon" sadly has received zero awards buzz and neither has "Patriots Day." I do think that's a shame, but it's whatever. Comparing the two performance, I think "Deepwater Horizon" was the better performance for Wahlberg as in this case I will simply say he gives a good performance. And it might even slip over to supporting if it was getting Oscar buzz. I don't know if there is a lead role in this movie because there is quite the cast of individuals all getting an equal amount of screen time. Among those are John Goodman, Michelle Monaghan, Melissa Benoist, J.K. Simmons and Kevin Bacon. Plus a whole host of other names, big and small, all tag-teaming on different sections of this movie in order to bring this to life. If there was an award at the Oscars for best ensemble cast (I don't know why there isn't), this would definitely be worthy of that award. In these situations I have to give credit to our director for making it all work like a charm.

There's not much more to say here. As a while, the movie isn't quite as intense as "Lone Survivor" or "Deepwater Horizon." I wasn't in pure shock and suspense during the entirety of this film like I was for both of those. But I did think there were a lot of great moments in this film that were all tied together nicely in order to put this whole week into perspective, giving us a great narrative. And the manhunt was equivalent to a fun episode of "Criminal Minds" on steroids, being how large the team was in order to capture these two. It's possible that I didn't find this movie as suspenseful as the other two simply because I knew the story like the back of my hand due to me spending so many hours and days following this story, but I still think they did a solid job. I don't think every news story needs to be a movie. Whenever a big article comes out, the studios don't need to be fighting over the rights to adapt it into a movie and people shouldn't be doing heroic acts so that they can be portrayed by Mark Wahlberg in a movie one day. I'm fine with we never have movies about major events such as Paris or Orlando. But in this case I think everyone did a solid job. I'm giving "Patriots Day" an 8/10.

No comments:

Post a Comment