This is the story of survival, heroism and the strength of a community. Patriot’s Day is a film based on the 2013 terrorist bombing at the Boston Marathon, which killed three people and injured over 200 people. There is no singular hero depicted in the film; instead we find a community of people who stood together.
Mark Wahlberg plays fictionalized cop Sergeant Tommy Saunders, representing the officers who were working on site that day.
The story begins with Sgt. Saunders, who was suspended earlier in the year after a routine drug bust. He has now been assigned trivial assignments that he thinks he shouldn’t have to do. On April 15, he is assigned crowd control at the Boston Marathon.
In the meantime, we get a glimpse of the Tsarnaev brothers responsible for the event and how they spent their day hours before the explosion.
Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (Alex Wolff) and his older brother Tamerlan (Themo Melikidze) hang out in their apartment, finalizing their plans.
After the explosion, Sgt. Saunders immediately tries to help the victims on the streets and inside the building. Soon, the area is on lockdown as FBI Special Agent Richard DesLauriers (Kevin Bacon), Commissioner Ed Davis (John Goodman) and Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese (J.K. Simmons) are all hands-on, trying to locate the identity of the men responsible.
In the aftermath of the explosion, the film focuses on finding and arresting the brothers. While on the run, the brothers carjack Dun Meng in his car. This man’s eventual escape from the brothers is an interesting, nail-biting scene.
Patriots Day isn’t overly heroic or sympathetic. It’s not overdone in any way. Like most movies based on real life events, the film is factual, riveting and realistic. The film also showcases actual footage from the scenes that were broadcast on TV.
No singular individual is portrayed as the hero of the film — not even Mark Wahlberg’s character. While he does his best to help the victims and assist in the arrest of the brothers, there are several other citizens and sergeants who play significant roles.
Patriots Day shows the community that got together under devastating times. While depicting the events of that day, the film manages to remain a thriller that will allows audiences to feel the emotional trauma surrounding that dark day in April 2013.
Mark Wahlberg gives an applause-worthy performance, while J.K. Simmons also manages to steal the spotlight in his scenes. Whether you know the events that happened that day or whether you are just aware of the main details, the thriller serves to inform and entertain.
Special features on the Blu-ray include:
Boston Strong: True Stories of Courage details interviews with Dr. Jeffrey Kalish, Dun Meng and Sgt. Jeff Pugliese
The Boston Bond: Recounting the Tale Featurette gives accounts of the people in Boston while the film was being shot
In The Real Patriots: The Local Heroes’ Stories Featurette, director Peter Berg discuss making the film and also includes interesting interviews with survivors
The Cast Remembers Featurette finds the cast describing what they were doing on the day the Boston Marathon bombing took place
Actors Meet Real-Life Counterparts: A 2-Part Series shows interactions between John Goodman and Ed Davis as well as Jimmy O. Yang and Dun Meng
Researching the Day Featurette is a behind-the-scenes look that shows how the movie was meticulously put together.
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