Boston Strong – Patriots Day (2016)

The anti-terrorism movie of the year.  So as you may recall, back in 2013 there were multiple bombings during the Boston Marathon.  This is a retelling of the events that took place on that day, showing the police officers in the thick of it, the FBI agents in charge of solving the whole thing after the fact, and even the terrorists themselves.  I checked this out in a theater, and I have to say that I really got into it.  The events took place so recently that I distinctly recall a lot of the details behind this, despite residing in the state of Florida at the time.  I was raised in Rhode Island, and I still have ties and connections to the Northeast.  I think they did the capitol of Massachusetts justice in this story that was inspired by true events.

040616_PATRIOTSDAY_KB_462.CR2And who is more Bah-ston than Mr. Wahlberg himself?

I did care for this movie a lot, but it has one thing working against it in that it may be a little too soon.  It didn’t bother me all that much, it really just made it hit all the closer to home, but I can see people potentially being turned off for this.  The timing on these true stories of horrific events can be tricky, much like the release of the book Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close in 2005 and United 93 in 2006 coming out so close in proximity to 9/11.  I suppose it ultimately ends up boiling down to how close are you to the event.  This movie does a great job at showing you the city of Boston and Watertown at this time, and it also showcases just how many moving parts there were to this investigation, and how quickly things moved.  Even today, terrorism is a hot button topic in the political stratosphere, so this is as relevant as can be.  It also makes you feel patriotic, which is exactly what you expect from a movie called Patriots Day.

1But not Michael Bay patriotic.

This movie shows the perspectives of a number of different parties, and their roles might not be all that apparent from the beginning, but I dig that about the story telling; you see what everybody is up to at the start, and then everybody weaves together and integrates.  There is a score featured by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, who are the two people you go to if you need to intensify your film, and they really do heighten every appropriate moment skillfully.  From my recollection, I do remember the internet playing a much larger part in this story, but it isn’t really about that, it is about the city itself.  The bombing as a whole is very upsetting, and if you have a soft stomach for this type of affair, you should be forewarned: it doesn’t shy away from showing you blood and strewn body parts.  It’s very accessible, and you should be able to watch and appreciate unless you feel that the notion of making this movie is too soon.

Patriots Day (2016) ****

– Critic for Hire


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