Patriots Day, B
Rated R, 133 minutes
"Patriots Day" is the overlong yet uplifting drama that focuses on the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing and the search to find the bombers. Directed by Peter Berg and Mark Wahlberg, who worked previously together on real-life inspired stories "Lone Survivor" and last year's "Deepwater Horizon," it can be redundant yet is also intense and bittersweet.
Tragedy strikes on April 15, 2013, when two bombs explode during the Boston Marathon. In the aftermath of the attack, police Sgt. Tommy Saunders (Mark Wahlberg), FBI Special Agent Richard DesLauriers (Kevin Bacon) and Commissioner Ed Davis (John Goodman) join courageous survivors, first responders and other investigators in a race against the clock to hunt down the suspects and bring them to justice.
"Patriots Day," directed by Berg and co-written by Berg, Matt Cook and Joshua Zetumer, boasts some entertaining moments, an impressive cast and a pertinent look at a fateful episode that still may be a little too soon for some, especially for the many Bostonians who lived through the tragedy. Berg expertly recreates the day in sublime detail, interspersing actual news and camera footage, well-choreographed to add a layer of poignancy to the film.
Though it's a worthwhile look at the event, there are a couple of minor distractions. First, Wahlberg's character is a fictional composite of many policeman who served at the event that day, which detracts somewhat from its realism, given that most of all the other characters portrayed in the film are real. Especially good among the large cast is John Goodman's gruff Police Commissioner and Oscar-winner J.K. Simmons' wiry smalltown police chief, whose Watertown police help capture one of the suspects.
Second, "Patriots Day" is too long, especially in its final act, and while Berg's mini-documentary that closes out the film is nice, it's also a little excessive on the touch-feely end of things. Also, be prepared to have tissues, as you'll need a load of Boston Strong-type strength to make it through without shedding a few tears. "Patriots Day," by the way, is also the first of several films to be released, is a solid, affecting look at a recent tragedy.