Patriots Day Thoughts
Peter Berg is a film maker known for telling stories about American heroes but instead a lot of his movies come off as patriot porn rather than good movies. Patriot’s Day had my curiosity with a clever action packed trailer and Nine Inch Nails’ involvement. I was hoping that maybe Peter Berg has evolved as a film maker but Patriot’s Day is probably the biggest patriot porn Berg has made. The entire film is pretentious.
The performances in the film were great with its terrific cast. No qualms with that. Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross did a good job with the soundtrack but it’s easily the weakest of their soundtrack work. A lot of scenes worked because of them though. Other than that, there is so much to hate about Patriot’s Day. First and foremost, the movie was unnecessary, it didn’t need to be made and there wasn’t enough material to make a feature length movie. And Mark Wahlberg’s character is useless. He serves no point to the story and he does absolutely nothing. He’sthe most boring protagonist in movie history. Wahlberg thankfully manages to be entertaining with his shitty role but the script is so bad.
For a movie about a sensitive tragedy, it’s full of cliche, cheesy, laughable dialogue and cringeworthy moments. During the shoot out scene, JK Simmons character makes a joke after the whole ordeal. You got to be shitting me with that. I don’t think any of the officers in Boston were in joking mode with the craziness going on. Jian Yang saying “go get those motherfuckers” line. This isn’t a 90s action flick where you need to insert one liner jokes. And how am I supposed to take it seriously with Jian Yang playing Jian Yang!? Also there are tons of characters in the movie that don’t serve a point and so many scenes are spent with them. There is no payoff except to develop the people who played pivotal roles in the events and even then I don’t feel much. A lot of scenes are drawn out as well, they just drag out and there is no artistic value or narrative there.
What makes it worse, is that Peter Berg doesn’t know what kind of movie he’s trying to make. At times it feels like a movie and at other times it feels like a documentary. Scenes that are supposed to come off as thrilling come off as shrill dramatizations of real events. Literally the second half of the film is dramatizations. It’s hard to describe as movies are supposed to be dramatization but it’s more like Peter Berg putting emphasis on key events and be like “okay here’s this scene where such and such happened. Okay so now this is where the other thing happened” It’s amateurish and then you have imaginary Mark Wahlberg running around everywhere doing nothing but preach his weird American values. The film lacks a narrative and a consistent tone and it ends up being a bore. I will admit however that the shoot out was pretty entertaining.
So here’s the big problem with Patriot’s Day, it’s poorly made. No doubt about that, but it’s part of this bullshit patriot porn genre that’s getting annoying. The whole movie is about trying to make cops look like terrific heroes and I don’t think that’s an agenda we need right now. The BPD did do a terrific job with the whole case but the whole film is pretentious in making cops look like these super patriots out to save the day and we should love our police. There’s tons of patriot quotes going on throughout the movie and some of the movie comes off insensitive. The last 10 minutes of the movie are pivotal figures talking about how great America is and that’s when the film really ticked me off. We are in such bad times with the country, we don’t need this self congratulatory bullshit. The whole movie is about how great America is and a lot of Americans aren’t too happy with how the country is going. The last thing they needed is a bunch of white people talking about how great America is. If Peter Berg truly wanted to make a movie about American heroism, make a movie about the Civil War. That’s a topic that’d be relevant but to make a movie with a predominantly white cast and muslim villains and then have a whole America is great message, is wrong. Even worse, it’s cashing in off a tragedy that wrecked a lot of people’s lives and the movie doesn’t do anything for them. It’s all about how we Americans rock and how we kicked these bad guys’ asses. Patriot’s Day might be digestible if it was better made but since it wasn’t, all the flaws are more apparent and I suggest people ignore this movie. It’s one of the most pretentious films of 2016.