Director Peter Berg has delivered some of the best true-life dramas in recent years with Deepwater Horizon and in particular, Lone Survivor delivering a deeply moving and emotional experience. Both movies starred Mark Wahlberg and their collaboration continues for this, their third joint-project – recounting the events of the Boston bombing of 2013.
This harrowing story is brought vividly to life by Berg, who introduces us to all of the key players on the day. The police, paramedics, search and rescue and the FBI are all accounted for, but it also takes you through the lives of some of the civilians who also lived through the horror. We also get a look at the bombers themselves, from organising and carrying out the attack to the subsequent manhunt that followed.
Together, these stories collectively paint an involving and absorbing drama that frequently moves you and keeps you invested. The main focal point is Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg), a detective who is serving some time as a uniformed officer. He and his wife Carol (Michelle Monaghan) prep for their busy day at the Boston Marathon, where Saunders is working. As the city prepares for a global event, terrorists orchestrate a calculated attack on innocent people. What follows is a breakdown of exactly how the investigation panned out – from the initial reactions and rescue to the larger manhunt. The bombers look to escape Boston whilst the authorities are working under incredible stress and a quickly-diminishing window of opportunity to find those responsible.
The film’s masterstroke comes from the way it delivers us snapshots into the lives of those affected. The main characters like Wahlberg, Kevin Bacon (Special Agent Richard DesLauriers), John Goodman (Commissioner Ed Davis) and J.K. Simmons (Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese) drive the central story through to a blistering finale that keeps you glued to the edge of your seat. But it’s the human interest stories scattered throughout that linger most in the mind, especially the lives of Jessica Kensky (played in the film by Rachel Brosnahan) and Patrick Downes (Christopher O’Shea) who went on to become beacons of hope for the survivors of this tragedy.
Respecting all that were affected by this heinous act and paying tribute to those who lost their lives, Patriots Day is an exceptionally well made movie with outstanding performances throughout. The story is quite remarkable on so many fronts and deserves to have a large audience. The dream-team of Berg and Wahlberg deliver yet another accomplished film.
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Bacon, John Goodman, Michelle Monaghan, J.K. Simmons, Rachel Brosnahan, Christopher O’Shea, Melissa Benoist, Alex Wolff, Themo Melikidze Director: Peter Berg Writer: Peter Berg, Matt Cook, Joshua Zetumer, Paul Tamasy, Eric Johnson Released By: Lionsgate Certificate: 15 Duration: 133 mins Release Date: 23rd February 2017