review by Bobby Blakey
The Boston Marathon bombing was yet another horrible time in the history of our country, but one that brought the country together during a dark time. While the focus to healing was obviously a big part of the aftermath it was the manhunt of those responsible that took over the news and now director Peter Berg is bringing this story to the big screen with Patriots Day. The film features a great cast including Mark Wahlberg, John Goodman, Kevin Bacon, J.K. Simmons, Michelle Monaghan, Dun Meng, Alex Wolff and Themo Melikidze, but does it pack the punch to bring this horrific tragedy and manhunt justice or will it just not be strong enough?
Patriots Day follows the aftermath of an unspeakable act of terror, where Police Sergeant Tommy Saunders joins courageous survivors, first responders and investigators in a race against the clock to hunt down the bombers before they strike again. Weaving together the stories of Special Agent Richard Deslauriers, Police Commissioner Ed Davis, Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese and nurse Carol Saunders this visceral and unflinching chronicle captures the suspense of the most sophisticated manhunt in law enforcement history and the strength of the people of Boston. Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg are on a role with the real life dramas come to life coming off of Deepwater Horizon and Lone Survivor. This latest collaboration once again brings to the screen another horrific time, but this one is executed differently than you might expect. While the promotions have focused on Wahlberg as the lead, it is in fact a full ensemble effort.
The film kicks off with Wahlberg firm leading the film and slowly introduces you to the rest of the players as well as some that feel like they may just be filler, but it was so well thought and layered that you quickly see why each and every one of them are as important as the next. The second half of the film features everyone in the film equally with some of the biggest action pieces with only one of the main lead fully involved throughout. There are plenty of light hearted moments as the film progresses, but once the tragedy strikes you are quickly reminded of the horrors and chaos of the day. Seeing it play out from the moment the explosion happens until the very end of it all works offering up a detailed insight to the investigation. There are some moments where the film seems to rush through and inject some moments that probably didn’t need to be there, but nothing that hurts the overall excellent execution and impact of the finished product.
As this film plays out you will no doubt feel affected as well as possibly forget at times that this is real and invest into it just being a film. With stories like this there is so much that will never be able to fully translate to the screen, but the ending of the film fully reminds you that this is not a work of fiction and slaps you in the face with the reality of it all. Once again Berg has proven to be one of the best filmmakers out there and I cannot wait to see what else he is going to deliver, but can only hope that it is yet another in the same vein as these stories deserve to be told to not just entertain, but to remind the people of the tragedies that make us stronger and those that stood for something more than themselves.
In addition to the film this release includes numerous bonus features including featurettes taking viewers deeper behind the tragedy and what it took to bring this film to life. Relieve the tragic day when Patriot’s Day available now on Digital HD and then on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Combo Pack, DVD and On Demand on March 28th from Lionsgate Home Entertainment.