Hollywood’s desire to make films dramatising terrorist events will never be quenched and here the spotlight turns to the Boston Marathon bombings of 2013.
Although one might question the value of such a film in the first place, Patriot’s Day is nonetheless a gripping retelling of the events. The screenplay really takes off after the explosions - Berg constructs an excellent cat and mouse chase as the police dragnet closes in on the suspects.
The decision to centre the plot on Mark Wahlberg’s fictional police officer is a little iffy. On the one hand it makes sense to tie it all together, on the other hand why couldn’t they just tell it as it actually happened? Perhaps the need for a big name actor on the poster was too great.
There’s no lack of big names though. John Goodman, Kevin Bacon and J.K. Simmons all turn in stellar performances, each representing a different branch of law enforcement.
Patriot’s Day isn’t particularly original or insightful but it’s far from the sickly and overly patriotic shlockfest one might expect.