Movie Review: Patriots Day

Mark Wahlberg along with director Peter Berg and his production company have been successful the last few years in buying the real life stories for the movies, Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon and now Patriots Day. It must have been a difficult challenge to buy three true stories like this, given the competition and realizing that these are three of the best real life stories to come out in many years, Patriots Day being the most important.

Patriots Day is about the April 15, 2013 bombing at the Boston Marathon, which at the time, was the second worst terrorist attack on American soil since 911. The explosions killed 3 civilians, including one 8 year old boy and injured an estimated 264 others, who were treated in 27 local hospitals. At least 14 people required amputations, with some suffering traumatic amputations as a direct result of the blasts. Eleven days later, 29 remained hospitalized, one in critical condition. Many victims had lower leg injuries and shrapnel wounds, which indicated the devices were low to the ground. At least sixteen civilians lost limbs, at the scene or by amputation in a hospital, and three lost more than one limb. Two police officers were also killed.

When you see this movie and realize that two sick diseased animals packed two pressure cookers with small ball bearings that had no other purpose than to both kill human beings and remove arms and legs you have an idea of the level of evil in these two terrorists. One of the terrorists Tamerlan Tsarnaev was killed during a shootout with the police and his younger brother Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was later captured and is now on death row. What I found most telling about the shootout with the terrorists was how intense it was, almost like a war battle and the terrorists actually threw self-made bombs at the police. In the end, Tamerlan Tsarnaev was shot and killed by the police and then run over by his own brother who evaded capture during the shootout and was found days later hiding in a boat, parked on someones driveway.

Before the final shootout, the two terrorists assassinated an MIT college police officer, supposedly to get his gun. What didn’t make sense here was why did they kill a police officer to get his gun when they already had more than enough weapons? Perhaps it was because of panic or just plain stupidity that they killed the police officer and you had to wonder if they didn’t do this one stupid act, perhaps they could have escaped, at least for a few more days or weeks. The Terrorists later kidnapped a college student to steal his car, who later escaped and because he had memorized the GPS number of his Mercedes, the two terrorists were cornered by the police some hours later.

I thought that the acting in Patriots day was very well done, including Mark Wahlberg and John Goodman, who play Boston Police Officers,
Michelle Monaghan who plays Wahlberg’s wife and Kevin Bacon, who plays Special FBI Agent Richard DesLauriers who was in charge of the investigation. I was very impressed by the warehouse that was put together right after the two bombings that acted as a hub to investigate the crimes, and this included a very impressive recreation of streets where the two bombings occurred that lead to the investigators figuring out the location of the terrorists at various times outside the businesses on these streets, eventually leading to their identification through cell phone videos and surveillance cameras. I thought that the technology and facial recognition software was very impressive during this part of the movie. Unfortunately, the photos were leaked to the press which forced the FBI to release them to the public before they wanted to and this caused major conflicts between the Boston Police and the FBI.

The film Patriots day is up to the task of showing all that happened during the days in April 2013 where the Boston Marathon bombings occurred and I highly recommend this movie.

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