Patriots Day online movie review - One of the best cinema experiences in years
If you're craving to feel the pain and sorrow of a national tragedy without actually experiencing it firsthand, then this is the movie for you.
"Patriots Day" in an exhaustingly emotional ride that will leave you feeling numb, but at least Mark Wahlberg is there to help you through it, holding your hand every step of the way.
In all seriousness, "Patriots Day" is pretty good film. It handles the real-life events with delicacy, without glamorizing or sensationalizing the violence, and it never once felt like a product that was made to capitalize on an act of terrorism. It is a thoughtful and intense journey into the lives of so many different people, both good and evil, and it is constantly engaging and exciting, showing how sometimes good can overcome bad, no matter how overwhelming it can seem.
Mark Wahlberg gives a fantastic performance, but I would in no way classify him as the main character of the film. Sure, he's in every trailer and poster, but he is not shown in every scene in the film, and in fact, there is a fifteen to twenty minute stretch where he is not shown at all. Instead of showing Mark Wahlberg as the all-American hero, something that everyone thought was going to happen, the film shows him as just another person caught up in these horrific, unimaginable events, and it is quite effective. There is a scene in the movie where, after the explosion takes place, Mark Wahlberg goes home to his wife and finds his house full of people. He screams at them and tells them to get out of his house, and then he sits on the couch with is wife. His eyes fill with tears. He cries. He explains how he doesn't even understand what he saw at the explosion sight, how there was so much blood, how the images in his head are never going away. His wife holds his hand and tries to fight back tears, and while she was mildly successful, myself and the rest of my theatre were most definitely not, as this scene was, no doubt, one of the most heartfelt and emotional scenes shown in a film released in 2016. And you may say the point of this scene was to get the audience to cry, but I disagree; the point of this scene was to show a confused and shattered man trying to cope in the aftermath of something that no one ever expected or thought would ever happen, and I'll be damned if it wasn't incredibly effective.
Another thing that this film does well is show how so many different people from different backgrounds were caught up in this living Hell. A student from China, a husband and wife, a man and his son, and so many others, all of their lives were intertwined because of this event, and all of them had their own part to play. And let me just comment, there are scenes with the student from China that are probably the most intense and nail-biting cinema experiences I've had in years.
The music in this film is a mixed bag, however. On one hand, there are some points in this film where the soundtrack really enhances the intensity, and one point in particular that, when the soundtrack kicked in, had me on the edge of my seat, literally breathing deeply to avoid having an asthma attack in the theatre from the amount of suspense I was feeling. On the other hand, sometimes the music in the movie is incredibly noticeable, and not in an organic way. There are sequences in the film where a constant droning can be heard for long stretches at a time, and the droning goes on for so long that it is really distracting and takes away from what is actually happening on screen. But, towards the second half of the movie the soundtrack kicks into high gear, and it really meshes well with the events that are being shown.
Another thing that I loved about this movie was the cinematography. Instead of looking overly stylized, like "Watchmen," or overly fake and glamorized, like "Unbroken," this movie just looks real. It honestly feels like watching a documentary of these events because the camera work is just so slick and high-definition, and it doesn't look like any sort of filter was used in postproduction. I really can't get over how good this movie looked, and I think the word "clean" would be the best word used to describe it. It was just so refreshing to see a movie with camera-work and cinematography that looked so fantastic, and if you decide to see the film, then you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
"Patriots Day" is, in my opinion, an important movie. It shows people that things like the events portrayed in this movie could, and do, happen. It shows how some people are truly soulless, without care for the lives of others. But most importantly, it shows how, in a time of crisis, people can work together to help, to rebuild, and to protect. Make "Patriots Day" the next movie you go see at the cinema; you will not regret it.