There’s probably no review of Mark Wahlberg-starring Boston marathon bombing film Patriots Day that will matter more than the Boston Globe’s, which was published this morning and is not exactly glowing.
It was a bold move, dramatising a tragedy that took place only three years ago, and many have declared it exploitative.
“At best, it’s unnecessary. At worst, it’s vaguely insulting,” is how the Globe put it in its two-star review.
Reviewer Ty Burr notes that the movie is “professionally made and slickly heartfelt”, but found its sex scenes tasteless and bemoans the interpolation of movie stars.
“Wahlberg’s Sergeant Saunders gets the big, weary speech at the end, too — about “good versus evil, love versus hate” — and right about then you may yourself feel profoundly exhausted at the mind-set that believes the human mind can’t process calamity until it has been reshaped for maximum dramatic impact and sold back to us with famous names attached,” he writes.
“I repeat: Everyone involved with this movie believes they’re acting with respect, even when they’re not. That includes director Berg, who pans with tasteless irony across the legs of Jessica Kensky (Rachel Brosnahan) and Patrick Downes (Christopher O’Shea) as they make love on the morning of the Marathon.”
Ultimately, the Globe found that, for Bostonians, the only genuinely tearjerking moment is when real footage from the bombing is used.
“The only meaning you need is right there in the faces of the victims, their families, the people who saved them, and you and I in the crowd,” Burr concludes. “No movie stars necessary.”
Patriots Day is out in the UK on 23 February.
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