Patriots Day

I don’t really get Peter Berg. He is such an interesting person, but I don’t get him.

He gave us the Friday Night Lights TV series, and for that, I can thank him. Despite problems during the writer’s strike, we still got an overall solid project that came from a solid film.

And then he did Hancock, which had a bad second half. Then he did Battleship. The real low point. After that, he began to have his Marky Mark obsession, as Patriots Day is the third “real story” film he has done with the singer turned actor in a row. I liked Lone Soldier. I was disappointed with Deepwater Horizon. And Patriots Day seemed like something that was coming out way too soon after the events.

And somehow these last two movies have come out within just a few months of each other. Calm down Berg!

This time Mark has an average amount of guns, right in between the other two films.

Patriot’s Day of course is a film, detailing the events of the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013, about three and a half years old when the film about it came out. Our main character is Sergeant Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg), a police cop who is just returning to the force and has an easy first job back. Finish line at the marathon. Aw, how sweet.

Well, unfortunately, a bomb or two goes off, and a lot of people get injured and a police hunt takes off. And through the smoke, the fire, the wreckage, a lot of local heroes come out to help those wounded. But this is about the cops. And unfortunately, the cops do not find them right away.

Blah blah, the real story shows that they eventually get two suspects, in Tamerlan Tsarnaev (Themo Melikidze) and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (Alex Wolff). With a city on lock down, they try to escape, and eventually get caught. Or, well, one of them does.

Featuring a lot of big time actors, like J.K Simmons, Kevin Bacon, and John Goodman. Also Melissa Benoist, Vincent Curatola, Michelle Monaghan, and Jimmy O. Yang.

Not really a good image, so not really a place for me to make a joke.

After finally watching Patriots Day, I still only feel that this movie came out too soon.

First of all, it was apparently filmed on location. Where the guy hid in the boat? That was most likely the exact same neighborhood as it actually happened. Like those poor people need to relive those experiences so soon. A lot of footage from the film might also have been actual footage, I have no idea. Footage from police cams, or security cams. Either they made it all look as real as possible, or just used the real stuff, and either way I am uncomfortable.

The ending was the best part as, surprise!, it actually did switch to the real people involved. A real tribute to the cops at a baseball game after the fact, then brief interviews with some of the main people the film touch upon. Very brief, the whole thing takes just a few minuets before the credits. And holy shit, this is what the movie NEEDED to be.

In case you didn’t figure it out, it should have been a DOCUMENTARY! That is something truly respectable, something that doesn’t have actor cops and agents running around pretending a terrorist is loose again in your neighborhood, or recreating other painful memeories so soon after they happen. Fuck.

I know people complain about Hollywood being unoriginal, sequels, reboots, yadda yadda. But trying to rush out true stories to keep them relevant is the biggest scandal out of all of those. Most of the true story films that I enjoy end up being the ones I never heard about, where I learn something. I would imagine most people who saw Patriots Day were also glued to their TVs over these few days and even saw the guy get arrested in the boat. I didn’t learn much and it just felt…exploitative.

There should probably be a limit of at least 5-8 years before you film true events, just to give the world some breathing room.

1 out of 4.

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