Boston bombing drama a winner

Boston bombing drama a winner

Mark Wahlberg as Boston police officer Tommy Saunders in Patriot’s Day. Photograph — Lionsgate.

Mark Wahlberg and director Peter Berg have new goals in life – to make historical dramas about events that occurred within the past decade.

While that sounds like a really annoying thing to do I actually cannot fault them because the films they have come up with are genuinely great viewing.

Deepwater Horizon, the 2016 film about the 2010 oil rig explosion off the Louisiana coast, was fantastic and their new flick Patriot’s Day follows suite.

Patriot’s Day follows the events leading up to the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings and the subsequent search for the perpetrators.

I know making a film about something that is still fresh in the memory of many sounds a little naff but by the end of it you kind of want Berg to make a film about everything that happened in 2013.

Wahlberg, who in the 1980s was on the wrong side of the Boston police himself, plays fictional officer Tommy Saunders.

He is at ground zero when the bombs go off and helps the subsequent search for the suspects, Chechen-American brothers Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and Tamerlan Tsarnaev played by Alex Wolff and Themo Melikidze.

The use of Wahlberg’s ‘made-up’ character is a unique film device that keeps things Hollywood but fortunately does not detract from the real life heroes that emerged from the event.

Through the film we get to see the real life heroes like Police Commissioner Ed Davis (John Goodman) and Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese (J.K. Simmons) help track down the suspects.

We also get to see the immediate and often gruesome impact of the blast on the victims who were right next to the bombs – Rachel Brosnahan plays Jessica Kensky who lost both her legs.

Patriot’s Day is sombre, action-packed, gripping and touching.

It embellishes the event in parts but not so much that it degrades the real-life horror the runners and spectators experienced on the day.