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PATRIOTS DAY

SYNOPSIS: An account of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the aftermath, which includes the city-wide manhunt to find the terrorists responsible. (Based on a true story)

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Patriots Day is a cathartic re-enactment of the Boston Marathon bombing, made with the patriotic fervor of a nation in mourning and attention to detail of a police procedural - which for the most part it is. The screenplay takes us inside the various characters prior to the bombing, toiling over inconsequential detail. We will care for them more if we know them better ... The intent is admirable but the effect is less than captivating. In trying to embrace all the people, the screenplay necessarily hops from one situation to another, as does the editing.

Given all that minutiae, it is surprising that the placing of the two backpack bomb packages in the crowd is left to our imagination. All that effort to give context and to prolong the tension is rather diminished by this omission; surely this is the most crucial detail from an emotional perspective, seeing the bags placed beside the legs of an unsuspecting crowd.

As Tommy Saunders, Mark Wahlberg leads a cast of excellent actors whose sincerity helps convey the individual impacts of the drama, with Michelle Monaghan notable in the smaller role as Carol, his wife. There is a predictability to the film, of course, with the familiarity of the recent historic event very clear in our minds, but the filmmakers are clearly earnest in their endeavor.

The authenticity of the storytelling, though, is thorough, and at the end, we get to meet some of the real people involved, from police to public. The emotional blast is not as powerful as perhaps it would be say, in Boston, or anywhere else in the US, but the cast do their utmost to show the shock and destruction that the blasts brought in both physical and emotional terms. The defiance that shines through at the end, encapsulated by the custom coined statement, Boston Strong, reminds us, and reminds terrorists around the world: that which does not kill me makes me stronger.

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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 0
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 1

PATRIOTS DAY (M)
(US, 2016)

CAST: Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Monaghan, J. K. Simmons, John Goodman, Christopher O'Shea, Rachel Brosnahan, Lana Condor, Alex Wolff, Therno Melikidze

PRODUCER: Dorothy Aufiero, Dylan Clark, Stephen Levinson, Hutch Parker, Michael Radutzky, Scott Stuber, Mark Wahlberg

DIRECTOR: Peter Berg

SCRIPT: Peter Berg, Matt Cook, Joshua Zetumer

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Tobias A. Schliessler

EDITOR: Gabriel Fleming, Colby Parker Jr.

MUSIC: Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Tom Duffield

RUNNING TIME: 133 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: February 2, 2017







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