Writer: Robert Rodat (Screenplay)
Starring: Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson, Jason Isaacs, Chris Cooper, Techeky Karyo, Rene Auberjonois
Plot: Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin is driven to lead the Colonial Militia during the American Revolution when a sadistic British officer murders his son.
Tagline – Some things are worth fighting for.
Runtime: 2 Hour 45 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Overly Long War Epic
Story: The Patriot starts where peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin (Gibson) sees the American Revolution coming towards his doorstep with his eldest son Gabriel (Ledger) fighting about the British. When the British reach his doorstep they end up killing one of his sons, Col William Tavington (Isaacs) makes an enemy he can’t prepare to fight against.
Benjamin prepares his own militia to fight back against the British, one that has experience fighting on this land, one that has already won a war, all this to get revenge on the man that took his son in a cowardly action.
Thoughts on The Patriot
Characters – Benjamin Martin was once a feared general in the military, now he is a quiet farmer looking after his children after his wife’s death. when the American Revolution comes to his home, he loses a son to a ruthless Colonel. Returning to the force he leads the militia in battle against the English showing all the tricks he has learnt through the years, in his mission for revenge. Gabriel is the eldest son of Benjamin’s he is the first to go into war and after it returns home, he will serve under his father to show the pride he has standing next to him. Charlotte is the sister-in-law that protects the children from the war while the men go off to fight. Col William Tavington is the man that kills Benjamin’s son in cold blood, he doesn’t want to give a calm peaceful end to the war and is willing to and wants to kill anyone against him.
Performances – Mel Gibson might well have a few personal demons, but when it comes to this style of film, he never looks out of place on the big screen, easily be the star of this film. Heath Ledger continued to show the world just how talented he was going to become with a wonderful supporting performance and Jason Isaacs gives us a villain from a war movie we are going to hate.
Story – The story follows a once deadly war general who is forced back into battle after his son is killed during the American Revolution, this follows his revenge in the battle which does give us a fictional story to a real war that changed America at the time. Now this does have a reality in how the men would be losing family members to the ruthless British, though this does make out that the British were the worst of the worst when it came to battle. This is a movie designed to make the American audience feel extra patriotic and does show the two sides of war, the respectful way and the dirty tactics people will use to win.
Action/History/War – The action is large scale war sequences, each one gets bigger with the number of bodies piling up as we go along. The historical side of the film focuses on the real war over the real people involved in the war which is fine, we only need the historical side as a backdrop for the personal battle.
Settings – The film does make the realistic settings for the time the war took place in each location does play a key part in the film be it a battle, the moment which will leave people wanting revenge or safety.
Final Thoughts – This is one of the long war epics that is designed solely to make America look great, it does end up going down the revenge line which gives an edge to the battles, which will be the highlight of the film.
Overall: Patriotic 101