FAILING THE MODEL
Film Review by Fiore
Wahlberg plays Tommy Saunders, a police officers at ground zero and a key component of the manhunt for the terrorists. Michelle Monaghan plays his wife. According to the film, Saunders is a rogue sergeant, serving a temporary punishment demotion, most likely for insubordination. This puts him at odds with Commissioner Ed Davis, played by John Goodman, and Superintendent Billy Evans, played by James Colby. Kevin Bacon pops in as FBI Inspector Richard DesLauriers and J.K. Simmons is Sgt. Jeffrey Pugliese, the officer who shot the first terrorist brother. Alex Wolff and Themo Melikdze play the two Muslim terrorist brothers responsible for the attack, Dzhokhar and Tamerla Tsarnaev, respectively. All these characters are true players in the event, except for Wahlberg’s.
KEY SCENES TO LOOK FOR:
1. KICKING DOWN THE DOOR
2. THE STREET GUN BATTLE
Trent Reznor applies an appropriate soundtrack for PATRIOTS DAY, alternating between heroic and tragic melodies. Cinematographer Tobias Schliessler shoots the film well, periodically inserting actual footage from both the bombing and the manhunt. His ground level shots of the bombing are especially effective.
PATRIOTS DAY is too long, clocking in at 133 minutes. There is a growing tendency for filmmakers to utilize more than one editor on a film. I have always held this as a mistake. While the director makes the film, it is generally the editor’s vision. When the vision is divided, it loses impact. Gabriel Fleming and Colby Parker, Jr. cut PATRIOTS DAY. Either one of them, working alone, could probably have done a better job.
When dealing with a tragedy, myriad subplots help add substance to the film. This was quite evident in SULLY, with Tom Hanks, where a single incident was elongated into a two-hour movie, quite effectively, by Director Clint Eastwood. Berg does the same with PATRIOTS DAY. There are subplots of Dzhokar’s college roommates; a lost boy; newlyweds; a budding romance at a Chinese restaurant; and a sympathetic rant on the trials and tribulations of being a Muslim woman and wife.
Wahlberg does his best to promote the themes of love and strength, and many may watch PATRIOTS DAY and come away with those feelings ingrained. However, many others will watch the same film and be filled with remorse and anger at members of a religion who sanctimoniously decided our way of life deserves destruction.
After watching PATRIOTS DAY, I am convinced, more than ever, that every American should exercise his second amendment right to carry arms; and that terrorists are not criminals, they are enemy combatants. As such, they forfeit all rights to trials, lawyers and the American judicial system. Not sure that is the message Berg wanted for PATRIOTS DAY. Guess, for me, he failed the Zettl Effect to Cause Model.
THE GRADE FOR PATRIOTS DAY = C