An Unwelcome Reminder



Based on the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, Patriots Day looks inside the events of the day and the subsequent manhunt for those responsible. Apparently, based on its reviews so far, this film is supposedly an engrossing procedural drama. We really didn’t get that from the trailer, and can’t help but feel like it’s too soon to be dramatizing the bombing. Patriots Day opens in wide release Jan. 13.

PAIGE: What a trailer. We’ve got the obvious based-on-a-true-story plot hook. We’ve got the slow piano rendition of America the Beautiful. We’ve got the montage of Americans helping Americans in a time of dire need. We’ve got the BAWSTAHN accents — Boston, which has been a central point of the United States from before there even was a United States (as that badge on the police uniform we see illustrates: a.d. 1630). And of course, that title: Patriots Day, ever so subtly highlighted in red, white and blue. And of course, it’s coming out right before the Inauguration. Did you need a reminder that America is still The Greatest Country On Earth? Because here’s Mark Wahlberg, reminding you. It’s so much propaganda that it transcends propaganda.

NICOLE: I don’t think I will watch this. There’s something about reliving (in a sense) what happened back in 2013, and this is not something I would want to relive.

JAIMIE: On entertainment value alone, this movie doesn’t seem worth watching.

NICOLE: This trailer did not make this movie seem all that interesting. I thought, just by the scenes in the trailer, that it was just a retelling of the bombing, but the IMDB synopsis says it’s mostly about the manhunt and the reasoning behind the police commissioner’s actions. I think they should have showed more of the latter two in the trailer.

CHRISTINA: I will give it that the cast seems pretty impressive. Other than Wahlberg, we’ve got Kevin Bacon, J.K. Simmons, and yes, she’s done a lot of bad movies, but when Michelle Monaghan is good, she’s really good.

NICOLE: While I really do like Mark Wahlberg, I have a feeling this would have been better if it was from the perspective of the runners and spectators, as well (kind of like Vantage Point), where they’re thinking about loved ones and the manhunt and what other dangers could possibly lurk in the future.

JAIMIE: Am I the only one who thinks it’s a little too soon to have a big-screen movie starring people like Mark Wahlberg, reminding us about the Boston Marathon bombings? It just seems a little tasteless, and I don’t think understanding what went on during the manhunt is going to change anything or make me feel differently about what happened. The Boston Marathon bombing was not World War II, as horrific as it was. There is no lesson to be learned or message of peace. It was a bad thing that happened and should be memorialized, but not in some semi-action movie.

PAIGE: I also think it’s way too soon to be making movies about the Boston Marathon bombing. This is still pretty fresh for a lot of people. To make a movie just feels so … trivializing. Especially when this clearly isn’t about adding new layers of analysis or insight a la The People vs. O.J. Simpson. It’s not even about a real person (Wahlberg’s character is an original one, I think). It’s just, “hey, look how great Americans are during a tragedy, that’s right, we’re pretty great.” This is just a movie that feeds on nationalism.