Patriots’ Day is a suspenseful, thrilling film filled with great moments, but it lacks any good characters to make it emotional and memorable.
The characters of the film are the weakest part of the film. Mark Wahlberg’s character serves as a conduit, connecting everyone else’s story into one, cohesive narrative. He does a great job, especially when you consider the fact that his character is the only fictional one in the film. All the other characters are either stereotypical in their portrayal or their roles are just too small to be of note. JK Simmons for example, shows up early in the film, but he is completely pointless until one key scene later on. His talents are wasted in this role and his character didn’t need to be featured in pointless filler material. His isn’t the only character to do this either. I can’t however falter the acting. This is a well acted film with some recognisable names and faces, this helps provide some characters with a little interest.
I want to praise the editing and the soundtrack of the film. There’s a great sequence about halfway through the film where a car is stolen. Throughout this scene, the gradual increase in edit speed and the suspenseful soundtrack really makes it thrilling and enjoyable. There’s also a great action scene after this which is the highlight of the entire film. The bombing itself is also well done, but this is merely the catalyst of the film, it’s what gets the real narrative going and the film only gets better as it goes on.
Without spoiling it (even though this is based on a fairly recent, true event), I also want to praise the ending of the film. At the end of the film, genres shift and it turns into a documentary. The real life individuals speak and talk us through the event with real images and footage from it. This sequence does a great job of providing the film with some much needed emotion and it helps it end on a high, positive note. This is where the message of the film is. This isn’t a film about the bombing, it isn’t a film about those involved or affected by it, not entirely at least, this is a film about unity and equality in sad, perhaps even desperate times, this is a film about standing together, against fear and against terrorism. The first three quarters of the film are a source of entertainment, the final quarter is the informative, educational and important bit.
Patriots’ Day is a good, enjoyable film that’s only really hindered by poor characterisation. By the end of it though, it doesn’t matter. Once it gets its message across, the films negatives aren’t so important. There are great thrills, good action and interesting moments throughout it and I really recommend it.