Patriots Day

Patriots Day is a 2016 American crime drama-thriller film about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the subsequent terrorist manhunt. Directed by Peter Berg and written by Berg, Matt Cook, and Joshua Zetumer, the film is based on the book Boston Strong by Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge. It stars Mark Wahlberg, J. K. Simmons, John Goodman, Kevin Bacon, and Michelle Monaghan.

Berg is back with his frequent collaborator in Walhberg (his last three movies all star Marky Mark). I’ve always liked Peter Berg as an actor (Chicago Hope & Aspen Extreme being two noteworthy credits) and this, based on a terrorist attack, a homegrown terrorist attack, and the manhunt that follows it, is probably one if his best works. The acting is superb! The direction is well done, even though I felt that the beginning was a bit choppy.

The movie itself focuses on the investigation and shows us what the main characters were upto – including the two terrorists – just before the actual act and the aftermath. A surprise cast member in a supporting role as the wife of Katherine Russell, Tamerlan Tsarnaev’s wife and Muslim convert is Melissa Benoist (Supergirl from the tv show). I was also made aware of officer Sean Collier, the cop who was shot by Dzhokhar & Tamerlan because he and his brother wanted to get another gun. Another thing I wasn’t aware of (having read some of the reports in the news but not all of it) was that the brothers also abducted a Chinese immigrant, Dun Meng, and stole his car in which they forced him to be in while they planned their new attack.

When Dzhokhar enters a Shell gas station to pay for fuel and some food, Meng takes his chance and quickly escapes the car and runs to the Mobil gas station so that he can call the police; the brothers flee in the stolen car. Using the stolen car’s GPS tracking number, police are lef to the pair which leads to an epic and ensuing shootout. The ensuing shootout sees several officers injured and/or killed. Tamerlan is wounded by Watertown Police Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese,  and run over by Dzhokhar, killing him. Dzhokhar escapes in the chaos; meanwhile, Tamerlan’s wife Katherine Russell and Dzhokhar’s college friends are detained by the FBI Hostage Rescue Team and questioned by and interrogation team. Katherine refuses to disclose any knowledge of her husband’s illegal activities, while Dzhokhar’s friends appear oblivious to his plans, despite having earlier found bomb components in his possessions.

Dzhokhar was later found hiding under the sheets of a man’s boat who then calls the police. Dzhokhar is quickly surrounded and arrested after a brief standoff. Dzhokhar was convicted on thirty counts and sentenced to death by lethal injection and is currently awaiting for his appeal in federal prison; his three college friends were arrested for obstructing the bombing investigation and authorities are continuing to seek information regarding Russell’s possible involvement of the bombings.

As a film I give it an 8 outta 10! I really like these kind of films based on true events even if many Boston-based publications criticized it for glamorizing the events it was based upon, and for the film’s focus on Wahlberg’s fictional character.

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