Review: Patriots Day Insults The People It Claims To Honor
Title Patriots Day
Director: Peter Berg
Summary: An account of Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis’s actions in the events leading up to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the aftermath, which includes the city-wide manhunt to find the terrorists behind it.
It’s a fundamental human trait that we are both disgusted and fascinated by acts of extreme violence. There is a reason serial killers have fans and why we have a 24 hour news cycle. We want to look away from the car wreck but we slow down without even realizing it. It was only a matter of time before someone decided to make a movie about the Boston Marathon bombing. It was one of the major terrorist events that took place on local soil during the age of social media. The event is less than four years old, though, so it would take class and tact to do a good job if you weren’t going to make a documentary.
Patriots Day would be a boring movie on its own if it wasn’t so incredibly insulting to the people who were actual involved with the bombing and manhunt.
On a basic level Patriots Day is a boring movie even if it wasn’t based on a true story. The pacing is way off and it feels like it goes on forever. It’s trying to aim for an air of realism while also trying to be an action movie that will feel familiar to most moviegoers. If someone didn’t know that this was based on a true story, and the movie didn’t tell everyone that at the beginning, this would look like any other terrorist story that could come out of Hollywood. It feels generic and that mostly comes down to a boring main character as played by Mark Walhberg.
That would seem insulting, to call someone boring, but Wahlberg isn’t playing a real person. Despite being a movie made to pay homage and honor the victims, it decides to follow around a person that never existed. There were a lot of people involved with this incident that they could have followed but instead they make this fictional person the reason for things to happen. He is the one to find Tsarnaev in the boat while completely ignoring the two officers who really did that. He is there for everything and every time he is on screen it’s like a slap in the face.
There is also the problem that this movie tries to be an action movie while ignoring the fact that this is exactly what the Tsarnaev brothers would have wanted. While Dzhokhar has apologized now, a scene that would have been amazing recreated on film, it still feels like we’re giving them what they want. Those two were not the smartest people ever and they thought of themselves as villains in a movie. This movie turns them into two dumber versions of a Bond villain. To give either of them what they want, to give them that kind of recognition instead of addressing that they were two idiots, feels like the ultimate disrespect.
Patriots Day set out to honor the dead, the maimed and law enforcement for their actions in April of 2013. However, instead of that, they have made a fiction film with bits of real life thrown in and tried to claim they are making something important. This is a movie where a marketer is going to tell you that it’s ‘patriotic’ or ‘it’s your duty as an American’ to see this movie; do not fall for it.