For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – Boston Films, here’s a review of Patriots Day (2016) by Al Robinson of Write out of LA
Thanks again to Ryan of Ten Stars or Less for choosing this month’s genre.
Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Vern of the Video Vortex. We will be reviewing our favorite Graphic Novels that have been adapted for the screen.
The one caveat is that it has to be based on a book that has been published.
Example The Killing Joke would be acceptable because it’s based on an actual graphic novel. The Dark Knight would not because it’s based on characters and there was no book before the movie.
Here is what appears to be the official/unofficial list of film adaptations of Graphic Novels
Please get me your submissions by the 25th of May by sending them to Vernsworld@movierob.net
Try to think out of the box! Great choice Vern!
Let’s see what Al thought of this movie:
By Al Robinson
From the moment, I first heard about this film I was super excited to see it. My favorite sub-genre is that of re-enactments of real events, such as films like Zero Dark Thirty and The Walk. I love real life, and sometimes that is more interesting and therefore, entertaining. I remember quite vividly that day of April 15, 2013, when CNN had the breaking news about the bombing at the Boston Marathon. It was scary and sad to watch, but it was also very riveting and hard to look away. The fact that people can so cavalierly walk into a crowd of people and leave pressure-cooker bombs to explode is sickening. What it must be like to have that kind of mindset that you want to try and kill as many innocent people as possible.
The film did a really great job in telling the story of the events of that week in detail, while remaining sensitive to its subject matter and the people whose lives were affected by it. The film starts by introducing us to Mark Wahlberg’s character, Tommy Saunders, who plays an amalgam of several different police officers involved in this case. He is our “in” to this story and how it unfolds from his perspective and the actions that take place around him. Director Peter Berg and his director of photography, Tobias A. Schliessler do a great job with the visuals and aesthetics of the film, and help drive the story visually in a way that makes it so it’s not necessary to lean on the dialogue to move the story along. The film sets up each big moment nicely and when especially we get to the moment when the bombs go off, its thrilling and jaw dropping. Director Berg decided to use footage of the event mixed in to give it a very raw feeling and it is all the more impactful for it. You really feel like you’re there on that day, and can feel the frenetic energy of it all as it unfolds in horror before you.
After the scene of the bombing, the film from then on because a manhunt and is lead by Special Agent Richard DesLauriers of the FBI, played beautifully by Kevin Bacon, and assisted by Officer Saunders, who knows the city of Boston and knows how the people of the city think, and can use his insight to direct the other officers on what to do. At the same time, the other great thing the film does at this point is start to show us more and more of the Tsarnaev brothers, Dzhokhar & Tamerlan. We see what they did after the attack, and we get a glimse into their lives and how they justified their actions. Even this I felt was done respectfully and doesn’t glamorize them or make them look like anti-heroes or anything like that. But it does at times show how basically they were just normal guys too and thought about everyday mundane things like everyone else. The scene where they carjack Dun Meng and then hold him hostage while they plan to drive to New York City is nerveraking and exciting, and the moment when he makes a break for it and runs away is great because you know he’s gonna help the police find and arrest them. Then what happens after that is mind blowing. The shootout scene in Watertown in incredible, and for a little while, it looks like a war film. So many gun shots and bomb explosions happen, and it’s crazy to watch. The fact that it all really happened just blows my mind. I can’t imagine living in that neighborhood that night. I’m sure I would have run down to the basement and sheltered until it was safe to come back up. The film ends of course with the capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev in the boat, and it felt so good to see the police take him into custody and end the madness that occurred that week.
What makes Patriots Day so great for me is that it is non-stop action and drama, with great performances from actors Mark Wahlberg, Michelle Monaghan, John Goodman, and Kevin Bacon. For 2 hours, I got to live in the world of this real life event, and I loved every minute of it.