An account of the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the
aftermath, including the manhunt for those responsible.
Patriots Day (2016)
Directed by Peter Berg
Written by Peter Berg, Matt Cook, Joshua Zetumer
Starring Mark Wahlberg, John Goodman, Kevin Bacon,
J.K. Simmons, Michelle Monaghan, Alex Wolff,
Themo Melikidze, Jimmy O. Yang, Melissa Benoist
Based on the book Boston Strong by
Casey Sherman and David Wedge
In April 2013, the city of Boston was attacked by domestic terrorists. Two bombs exploded at the finish line of the Boston Marathon, killing three people and wounding countless others. A citywide manhunt followed as Boston police and the FBI hunted down the terrorists responsible. And through it all, the people of Boston united as one. Patriots Day tells the story of the bombing, the aftermath, and the manhunt that ended in triumph. The film never feels exaggerated or insincere. Peter Berg, having already proven his talent at telling sensitive but real stories with Lone Survivor and Deepwater Horizon, does it again with this film, utilizing real news and surveillance footage to tell this story as accurately as possible.
Mark Wahlberg plays fictional Boston cop Tommy Saunders, an amalgamation of many different officers who worked the case. He works alongside the feds and the Boston police to catch the pricks who attacked his city. Wahlberg does some of his finest work in Patriots Day, effectively conveying the trauma and confusion that affected so many after the bombing. The supporting cast are all fantastic too, particularly the two young men who portrayed the terrorists. It's hard to believe that most of this is factually accurate, especially the kidnapping of Dun Meng (Yang) and his subsequent escape that got the ball rolling on the manhunt. It feels Hollywood, but it really did go down like that.
Patriots Day is dedicated to the first responders and the officers who pursued the terrorists, as well as the victims of the attack. Peter Berg is a master at telling these kinds of stories with grace and dignity. He doesn't sacrifice reality for the sake of action or drama. He chooses stories that are rich and real enough to tell themselves. The scenes of the actual bombing are horrific and frightening, but they needed to be there so we, the audience, understand just how much of a nightmare this was for the city of Boston. It's a fantastic biopic that does the story justice.
The bombing of the Boston Marathon in 2013 was one of the worst recorded cases of domestic terrorism. Numerous people were critically injured and three were tragically killed that day. While a day of sorrow for many, the event itself and the ensuing manhunt for the bombers was a showcase for the strength and unity of the people of Boston. Never before since 9/11 has not just a city, but the entire country come together to help the survivors and catch the terrorists. Patriots Day is a movie that expertly shows all of this as it chronicles the tragic day and the manhunt that would follow after.
Mark Wahlberg reteams with director Peter Berg for the third time, delivering another great performance as Boston native cop Tommy Saunders. While not a real life person, he is a good character for the audience to root for and watch the events unfold. The rest of the cast doesn't lag behind by any means, with veteran actors John Goodman, J.K. Simmons, and Kevin Bacon all delivering phenomenal performances. Each actor does a great job of portraying these real life heroes who spent countless hours trying to find the people responsible for the bombing. Apart from the acting, the film itself is riveting to watch from beginning to end. Seeing the actual bombing recreated is absolutely horrifying and chaotic; the feelings I'm sure everyone felt that day. As for the end, which shows actual footage along with interviews from the real life people, does a fantastic job of wrapping everything up. It is a sad moment that will bring tears to your eyes, especially when the pictures of the deceased are shown.
Patriots Day is an excellent, and important, film about one of America's greatest tragedies. The actors, and the film itself, all do a great job of honoring the people involved. With the political climate the way it currently is, films like this remind us how strong we are as one unified nation. The final thing I have to say about this film is in tribute to the people of Boston: Boston Strong.