Patriots Day focuses in on Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg), a police officer put in charge of security during the marathon. When the bombs go off, Tommy rushes to action, as does everyone at the event, trying to get the area contained and rescue as many people as he can. In the days that follow, we watch as he aids the FBI in tracking down the people behind the terrorist attack. But Tommy’s story, while the main focus, is just one of many. We also follow the attackers, played by Alex Wolff and Themo Melikidze, as well as a humungous supporting cast of characters that includes Commissioner Ed Davis (John Goodman), Sergeant Jeffery Pugliese (J.K. Simmons) and Special Agent Richard DesLauriers (Kevin Bacon), among others.
One of the most fascinating things this film does is that it showcases the story from so many different angles. We get the side of the cops and the FBI, but we also get to look at the event from the bombers’ side of things and get an understanding of why they’re doing the things they’re doing. It doesn’t try to justify that what they did was the right thing to do, but it gives light to a new perspective that isn’t always talked about. It provides the character's own personal justification and reasoning behind their actions, and even though I don’t agree with the things they’re doing, it was certainly a new and important thing for this movie to do. It makes the film standout amongst other biopics about similar tragedies.
What really stands out amongst the crowd are the performances, and not just the lead performances, but also the performances of every single cast member. With Oscar nominations coming out soon, I wouldn’t be surprised if Patriots Day receives a few for acting. Mark Wahlberg and Peter Berg need to team up more often, as they always bring the best out of each other. They’ve got three hits in a row, starting with Lone Survivor then Deepwater Horizon and now this. While Wahlberg’s performance is consistently brilliant, there’s one scene in particular that will bring tears to the eyes of all who watch it. To be fair, this entire movie was just me trying not to burst into uncontrollable crying for over two hours, but that one scene did stand out as being the most tear jerking of the lot.
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