The latest collaboration between director Peter Berg and actor Mark Wahlberg, Patriots Day, stands as not only a valuable tribute to the victims and heroes of the Boston Marathon bombings, but a solid, meaningful, gritty look at what it took to take down the terrorist Tsarnaev brothers.
Wahlberg plays Sgt. Tommy Saunders, another one of those fictional composite characters that often show up in historical dramas. You may forgive this kind of artistic license, because the goal of Patriots Day is to take you through the entire drama, from the bombing itself, through to the capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (Alex Wolff) inside a boat in somebody’s backyard.
There probably wasn’t a single person who was at all of the events leading to the ultimate capture of the final living suspect in the bombings. It’s best to just view the Wahlberg character as a partial representation of the heroism and diligence that led to that arrest.
This is the second of two Berg/Wahlberg collaborations in 2016, and it’s a good one. The film is about heroes, the heroes who worked to find the perpetrators, and the selfless, persevering heroes who were standing close to an explosive device when it went off. You’ll walk away from this movie feeling that Berg, Wahlberg and company did all of these good people justice with Patriots Day. Most importantly, it’s a moving tribute to those who lost their lives.