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Mark Wahlberg plays Police Sergeant Tommy Saunders (a composite character), who is on duty alongside Commissioner Davis (John Goodman) at the marathon. Before the race, there is a poignant moment of silence for the 26 victims of the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown. This also serves as a reminder of how often these atrocities take place, and foreshadows the dark events soon to follow.
The tension builds as families and law enforcement offices make their way to the crowded event. Not only that, but we also follow the journey of the bombers themselves. The celebrations soon turn to devastation, as multiple explosions suddenly rip through the street, maiming young and old alike.
After the tragic events at the marathon, the film switches gears to focuses on a terrorist manhunt. FBI Special Agent DesLauriers (Kevin Bacon) arrives the scene, and they collectively begin to examine the videos and evidence. J.K. Simmons, Michelle Monaghan and Melissa Benoist also play supporting roles.
Mark Wahlberg's filmography has been a mixed bag to date. Those still shaking away memories of The Happening and Transformers will be relieved to know that director Peter Berg really does get the best out of him, having previously collaborated on Lone Survivor and Deepwater Horizon. That said, this film really isn't one persons' story, and does a great job in capturing the team effort of all involved.
Some might also question whether the movie is 'too soon', as the events will undoubtedly still be fresh in the minds of those affected by it. But ultimately, Patriots Day is a tribute to the victims and survivors of the attack, first responders and brave law enforcement officers. Rather than sensationalise, the film remains respectful to events that are still very raw.
Incredibly tense, gripping and undoubtedly evoking an emotional punch, Patriots Day features powerful and heartfelt performances. It's definitely a movie that will stay with you long after the credits roll, as the real-life aftermath continues to be felt.
Blu-ray extras include several in depth featurettes; Boston Strong: True stories of courage, The Boston bond: recounting the tale, The real patriots: local heroes' stories, The cast remembers, Actors meet real-life counterparts: a 2-part series, and Researching the day.
By Sarah O'Connell on 25th June 2017