Sons of Liberty (Blu-ray Review)8 May, 2015 By: John Latchem
$26.98 DVD, $29.99 Blu-ray
Stars Ben Barnes, Marton Csokas, Ryan Eggold, Michael Raymond-James, Rafe Spall, Henry Thomas, Jason O’Mara, Dean Norris.
This five-hour History Channel miniseries spread over three episodes takes liberties, so to speak, with the historical record to condense the narrative of the decade or so leading into the American Revolution.
A producer even notes in one of the featurettes that he wanted to equate the 1760s to the social unrest of the 1960s, and the end result seems more like a representation of popular folklore about the era than anything that should be considered “educational.”
Sons of Liberty in some respects serves as a nice companion to HBO’s 2008 John Adams miniseries, spending more time with the general circumstances in the colonies that led to the American Revolution.
Adams (Henry Thomas) accordingly is pushed more into the background, as the story puts most of its focus on the subversive activities of Samuel Adams (Ben Barnes), Paul Revere (Michael Raymond-James), John Hancock (Rafe Spall) and Joseph Warren (Ryan Eggold), the latter of whom died at Bunker Hill.
Also cutting an imposing presence with limited screen time are Jason O’Mara as George Washington, who doesn’t show up until the second episode, and “Breaking Bad” star Dean Norris as Benjamin Franklin.
Yet where the HBO piece was notable for its verisimilitude, Sons of Liberty caters to a modern crowd with a hip, younger cast, and dialogue that sounds anachronistic enough at times to make the whole endeavor come across a bit like the CW version of American history.
What’s left is an entertaining romp through early American history that hopefully inspires viewers to learn a bit more about how the nation actually came together.
The two-disc Blu-ray also includes a 10-minute featurette about crafting the show’s visual style; a nine-minute featurette about creating the battle scenes; and a 17-minute featurette about the characters.