Patriots Day is a film that looks back on the events of the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombing. It was quite a story at the time, a terrorist attack on the innocent and a lengthy manhunt that followed. I wasn’t surprised to hear that the story was to be made into a film, but I do question the timing of its release.

Mark Wahlberg, Kevin Bacon, JK Simmons, Michelle Monaghan, the film isn’t short of Hollywood actors, but Marky Mark’s character is the only one of substance, and that probably comes down to the fact that his character is fictional. He plays the local cop that saves the day, popping up conveniently in all the right places, but you can’t help but feel a sense of truth to his performance, possibly down to the fact that in real life Wahlberg is a local Boston boy.

The exposition of the film was quite dull and it took some graphic images of the bombing to really get the film started. The hunt for the bombers played out well though, but I couldn’t place my finger on what exactly the message the film was supposed to be. The film’s finale definitely brought that message into light though, one of peace and staying strong in adversary, but that wasn’t the film that I had just watched? If you attack at me I’ll attack at you, seemed to be the visual message of the film, and while a shootout in a quiet suburban street was a highlight action scene, it didn’t fit with the filmmaker’s peaceful intentions. Mixed messages all over the place and therefore I wasn’t surprised to find out the film’s script started life as two separate screenplays, which were amalgamated into one before filming.

Patriots Day is not a terrible film, but I’m not sure what the point of it is. Released right in the midst of Trump’s new vision of America, I couldn’t help but feel that the timing of its release is not great. Pushing a film about a recent terror attack on the American people right at the time of immigrants and refugees being cast out by their government seems poor taste, especially when, supposedly, the film is about peace not war?

Or maybe I’m just not American enough.

– Ben Chesters