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Patriots Day (Blu-ray Review)

28 Mar, 2017 By: John Latchem

Street 3/28/17
Box Office $31.89 million
$29.95 DVD, $39.99 Blu-ray, $42.99 UHD BD
Rated ‘R’ for violence, realistically graphic injury images, language throughout and some drug use.
Stars Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Bacon, John Goodman, J.K. Simmons, Michelle Monaghan, Alex Wolff, Jimmy O. Yang, Rachel Brosnahan, Melissa Benoist.

This docu-drama re-creating the events leading to and after the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 is the third based-on-true-events collaboration between director Peter Berg and star Mark Wahlberg, following 2013’s Lone Survivor and another 2016 movie, Deepwater Horizon (which dropped into theaters just three months before Patriots Day).

Mostly based on the book Boston Strong, Patriots Day doesn’t delve too deeply into the motivations of the bombers, their backstories or the intricacies of their plan. Rather, in true docu-drama fashion it sets up some of the key individuals affected by the bombing and its aftermath, looking in on them the night before the marathon and following through until their intersection with history.

Wahlberg plays a fictional cop who is present at the bombing and heavily involved in tracking down the suspects. As explained in the behind-the-scenes featurettes, the filmmakers decided to create a composite character so as to provide a single point of entry into the narrative without stepping on the toes of too many real-life heroes in assigning credit for who did what.

The storytelling is crisp and the action is intense, putting viewers in the middle of the chaos surrounding the bombing and subsequent manhunt, and especially the firefight in Watertown that led to the capture of the bombers. The re-creation of the bombing is especially harrowing, and not for the feint of heart. In all, it’s a fascinating glimpse into the effort to hunt down domestic terrorists, and a fitting tribute to their victims and the heroes of law enforcement who brought the criminals to justice.

The Blu-ray includes about an hour and 40 minutes of featurettes, most of which feature interviews with the real-life people depicted in the film.

About the Author: John Latchem

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