Not flawless, but 'Patriots Day' one of year's best
Why has Peter Berg’s latest film, “Patriots Day,” gotten such a limited theatrical release?
Is it anti-American? Anti-Muslim? Anti-government? Anti-diversity?
No to all of the above.
Then it must be poorly made, grossly inaccurate or boring. Nope.
“Patriots Day” is about the Boston Marathon bombing of 2013. It isn’t flawless, but it’s by far one of the best movies of the year.
The reason one goes to the movies is to watch likable characters overcome conflict (inner/outer) or squirm at the mayhem we humans are capable of. And “Patriots Day” delivers on both accounts. “Boston Strong!”
Berg’s film from last year, “Deep Water Horizon,” had the same issue. Posters were everywhere. Trailers constantly played. But once it was released, the film sank. Fearing the worst, I waited for it to screen at a nearby dollar show.
To my surprise, there was proper character development. A true story about the BP oil spill, it was familiar yet engaging. All this without sappy, forced heartwarming scenes.
This formula worked just as well when he applied it to “Patriots Day.”
So what’s going on? Berg’s films aren’t political, politically incorrect or bad.
Let’s back up a little.
The first of Peter Berg’s three true-story films was the intense, widely-accepted “Lone Survivor.” Mark Wahlberg, who has star power and the acting skills to pull off the role of a passionate soldier, gives a committed and unflinching performance.
But Wahlberg is also in Berg’s last two films. What’s the problem? Is there one?
The only Berg “hating” I could find revolved around his meme disrespecting Caitlyn Jenner, which was followed by an apologetic meme stating his support for equality and trans-people.
Maybe we’re more interested in films like Clint Eastwood’s box office smash “American Sniper” because of the stranger-than-fiction incidents that can occur during filming of an already-remarkable story (look it up).
I think Berg’s stories are too accepting. They cover the truth, but maybe we can’t deal with our current or earlier reactions. Perhaps objective lenses are hard to peer through retrospectively (once the films are finished and we reassess our opinions of war, oil and patriotism).
Can we really have an oil spill and still use oil? (We do.)
Can we root for a soldier while accepting members of the enemy he’s been fighting? (We do.)
Can we still run marathon races after such a scare? (We do.)
Love can conquer evil.
Good is better than bad.
The marathons go on.
This is Berg’s message.
So, since the Patriots won, celebrate and show your love. Go out and see “Patriots Day” with a painted face, a foam finger and some popcorn.
Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly
More VN News Articles
Recent VN News Articles
Discuss This Article
MOST POPULAR VN
GET TOP STORIES DELIVERED WEEKLY
FOLLOW OUR NEWSPAPER
LATEST VN NEWS
- Avoid procrastination, relax, get involved, junior says
- Director Papa values student, pro interaction
- State tourney should launch Caesars Arena
- To win, Titans must fulfill individual roles
- Last chance to catch 'Bus stop'
- Vitale, '77 team turn out to honor Duerod
- Even Lady Gaga deals with body shaming: it erodes confidence
RECENT VN CLASSIFIEDS
FROM AROUND THE WEB
- Protecting Seniors Online from Scams, Hacks and Tax Fraud
- Rehydrating for Optimal Health
- Five Reasons You Need Cell Phone Insurance Now
- The One Super Bowl Fact You Still May Not Know
- Companies Are Discovering That Pittsburgh Is Good for...
- Millennials Go House Hunting, and Here's What They Crave
- Estate Plans: You're Not Doing Anyone a Favor by Avoiding...
- What Would You Have to Give Up to Pay for An Unexpected...
- Four Tips to Keep Your Kids' Teeth Healthy And Clean
- Local Community Newspapers Go Digital
COLLEGE PRESS RELEASES
- N. American Effie Awards Announces 2017 Collegiate Effie Competition
- Students Increasingly Turn To GoFundMe To Pay For College
- O2 BARS: LATEST RAGE AT COLLEGE DE-STRESS, SOCIAL, & WELLNESS EVENTS
- Deadline Approaching for Phi Kappa Phi Study Abroad Grants
- ESA Foundation launches 2017-18 Scholarship Program