It only took three years for the biggest domestic terrorist attack in the USA since 9/11 to be made into a biopic style movie exploring the pride and power of America and their intrepidity in the face of danger. Boston is the setting and the attack was at the world famous marathon in 2013; taken out by two radicalised brothers intent on making a statement. This film, however, is a tad more blurred and despite being well made and emotionally evoking; its statement is quite convoluted and perhaps lost in the pro-American jingoism.
The plot is cleverly mapped out, introducing us to each individual involved in the story at the start of the film, but for some not paying off why until almost the end. We see Mark Wahlberg’s Tommy Saunders, a cop on the beat during the marathon, J.K Simmons as Police Chief of Watertown, the eventual final shootout between the law and the instigator of the attack Tamerlan Tsarnaev. As well as Sgt. Sean Collier, who would be gunned down in cold blood, and also showing us the lives of a few victims of the bombing, some who were killed, others who were mutilated.
It adds a sense of realism and impression, where we as the audience get to know each person before we see how they were affected by the actions of two selfish and evil men. Then in the aftermath, the sheer grandeur and scale of the city-wide manhunt to find them and who was involved; local law enforcement, the F.B.I, N.S.A and the citizens themselves of Boston. The movie makes a staunch point of reminding us of the reticulated web of connectivity they have unlike any other city on Earth, where everyone watches out for their own.
Perhaps the best feature of the film is the sense of pace, always moving, tension always rising. Whether it’s in the lead up to the Marathon, the bombers trying to make their escape, law enforcement closing in; there is constant suspense on every turn, in a lethal game of cat and mouse and actually makes for great viewing. If some of the facts have been glammed up for cinema that is redundant in the grand theme of the movie, which I believe, is about the strength of unity and overcoming great challenges – probably a dash of American patriotism as well – but overall the stance that terrorists will never win.
What will do this movie great harm here in Australia, however, is the current disassociation we have with our big brother ally and the recent political news that won’t have anyone here rushing to a cinema to see how great the USA is anytime soon. I can assure you that Patriots Day exceeds expectations and thrills with all the expected tropes of a ‘race against time’ chase movie.
Patriots Day 7/10