I remember April 15, 2013, like it was yesterday. It was a beautiful day in Boston. The annual Boston Marathon and the Red Sox home-opener were about to take place. With kids having an entire week off from school, everybody had no idea what would happen until the afternoon. Two brothers—Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev—planted two bombs near the finish line. At nearly 3:00 p.m., the bombs went off leaving three dead and hundreds of other people injured.
Three years later, Marky Mark and Peter Berg reunite after Deepwater Horizon to make another flawed yet exceptional tribute to those who had to make the ultimate sacrifice with Patriots Day.
Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg) is a police officer living in Boston with his beautiful wife Carol (Michelle Monaghan). He is offered to work as a crossing guard at the finish line of the Marathon, despite dealing with a knee injury. After the bombs detonate, he—along with FBI agent Rick DesLauriers (Kevin Bacon) and Police Commissioner Ben Davis (John Goodman)—begins to investigate who is responsible for the bombing. And later, finding out about Tamerlan (Themo Melikidze) and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (Alex Wolff, the brother of Nat).
Seeing the bombings on the big screen is like seeing the actual event up close and personal. Resembling the likes of Paul Greengrass, director Peter Berg provides handheld camerawork (which might be overused as of late) to give Patriots Day enough realism. In one particular sequence, the Tsarnaevs carjack Dun Meng (Jimmy O. Yang) and make plans to go to New York City. Then, they encounter Sgt. Jeffrey Pugliese (J.K. Simmons) in a tense stand-off on the dark streets of Watertown (outside of Boston).
Mark Wahlberg, who represents the wonderful city, leads a wonderful cast to give another exceptional performance as the Everyman. Even though it takes a while for the movie to pick up its pace and some of the dialogue may seem a little forced, Patriots Day makes up for it as a hard-hitting and emotionally powerful homage to the heroes and victims of that tragic day and the city that coined the term “Boston Strong”.