“Patriots Day” – 9
In a word: Gripping
One of the best true-story epics I’ve seen in years.
This is all about the Boston Marathon bombing of April, 2013; the preludes, the murderous scenes, the panic, the suffering, the investigations, the apprehensions, the intimate stories of victims, cops and killers, and the aftermath, all woven together in a film people can digest and keep track of.
Mark Wahlberg is the lead actor plying a Boston cop with personal problems of his own, always compelling, but the movie is not about the acting, it’s about the story. John Goodman, complete with 100 pound weight loss, plays the Boston Police Commissioner and Kevin Bacon plays the lead FBI agent in charge. They are all good. But so are the bit actors. Even better is the snippets about the sub-plots, the people who suffered, their families, their kids, the conflicts between law enforcement agencies, the perils of law enforcement when a simple cop is ambushed for no reason stripping his family of his love, the limbs lost by decent people and the stress imposed on cops in all agencies.
Neither is the movie politically correct. The killers are portrayed as they were, Islamic extremists, dedicated to Jihad and denigrating anyone who was not a Muslim, including Dr. Martin Luther King. I had kept track of the original story three years ago, but did not know the extent to which the terrorists shot it out with the police.
One criticism is some of the confusion about overlapping law enforcement jurisdictions, who was in charge when and where. Not always clear.
But it’s an edge-of-your-seat movie, that will make you cry at the end. What’s scary is that it can happen again – tomorrow, next week, next year.
This movie is worth a 9 out of 10.