Remember how Mel Gibson said in his acceptance
speech for a Best Director Oscar how the thing he really wants to do now is act? In
"The Patriot", he gets his chance. Its a movie very similar to
"Braveheart", but Mel can now focus just on one job, and even though he never
came close to winning an Oscar for acting, he shows once again that he does it very well.
Benjamin Martin, a legendary warrior from the French-Indian wars, now a farmer in South
Carolina, raising his seven children after the death of his wife. He is reluctant to join
the local politicians in their pursuit of independence of a young American nation. He
seems like a man who has seen enough violence in his life already, and he feels the
conflict with England should be resolved peacefully, through negotiations. Thanks to
forces beyond his control, there will be a Declaration, followed by a war, of
Independence. He will begin a series of guerrilla attacks against the Red Coats, earning
himself a nickname "The Ghost" and respect of the local population.
Patriot" is a two and a half-hour war epic, in which the main character achieves
redemption through personal sacrifice, changing his priorities and beliefs along the way.
Loosely based on some real-life characters, the movie makes a clear distinction between
good and bad guys. A little too clear, even, as the sadistic Red Coat colonel William
Tavington (Isaacs) gets increasingly insane in his executions. Our hero will also have the
dark secret that will wait two thirds of the movie to be revealed, but somehow its
much easier to forgive Mel Gibson than Jason Isaacs for any imaginable sin.
from "Braveheart", "The Patriot" has a lot in common with many movies
about famous American conflicts. In "Revolution", Al Pacinos character and
his son fought reluctantly alongside George Washington, although Pacino was a trapper, not
a farmer. The scenes of political turmoil in South Carolina are reminiscent of those from
great Civil War epics, "Gone With The Wind" and "North and South".
Finally, "Glory" comes to mind in its portrayal of slaves fighting for their
from the obvious shortcomings in the development of the initial ideas and lack of
originality, "The Patriot" moves gracefully across the screen, led by a
confident hand of Ronald Emerich, who proved himself in the genre of mega-spectacles, such
as "Independence Day" and "Goodwill". The scenes of battles are solid,
but nothing out of the ordinary, and children actors produce a few truly touching moments.
However, everything starts and ends with Mel Gibson, his piercing blue eyes and