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  • The Patriot
    • The Patriot
    • Runtime:127 min
    • Release Date:2014-08-01 23:54:32
    • Director: Roland Emmerich
    • Genres: Action, Drama, War
    • Studio:


Samuel Johnson was right when he identified patriotism as the last
refuge of a scoundrel, and the proof is in this cartoon call to arms
from the makers of 'Independence Day' and the Hollywood remake of
'Godzilla'. The film is a bubblegum whitewash of early American
history, with all the misguided crowd-pleasing appeal of an Armed
Forces recruitment ad, casting Mel Gibson as a conscientious objector
(in screen vernacular always the next worse thing to an outright sissy)
who rediscovers the moral rewards of deep commitment during the
Revolutionary War, mostly by slaughtering half the Redcoats in New
England. Screenwriter Robert Rodat waves the flag more stridently here
than in his previous 'Saving Private Ryan', helping Gibson to shed his
pacifism by presenting him with an adversary (British colonel Jason
Isaacs) so evil and sadistic that even his own troops despise him (and
later impaling the villain directly onto the Stars and Stripes, in a
particularly grisly bit of low-brow propaganda).

The story invites obvious comparisons with Gibson's own Oscar winning
'Braveheart', but despite the quality of the production (and the
transparent self-importance of its epic 160+ minute running time) the
film is still little more than a prestigious vendetta drama, on the
same emotional and intellectual level as any Charles Bronson
'Deathwish' scenario. Ace cinematographer Caleb Deschanel provides the
fabulous scenery, and then newcomer Heath Ledger valiantly takes up the
matinée idol torch passed to him by his on-screen father (and fellow
Aussie heartthrob) Gibson.

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