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A hero of the fierce French and Indian conflict, Martin had renounced fighting forever to raise his family in peace. But when the British arrive at his South Carolina home and endanger what he holds most dear, Martin takes up arms alongside his idealistic patriot son, Gabriel, and leads a brave rebel Militia into battle against a relentless and overwhelming English army. In the process, he discovers the only way to protect his family is to fight for a young nation's freedom.
Drama Adventure - A lackluster war adventure movie taking place during the American
Revloution, The Patriot tries to capture the Braveheart
audience, but the resulting spectacle lacks both depth and suspense.
The juvenile script seems to favor teenage boys who (in theory) can't
get in because of the R rating.
As a Revolutionary War epic, The Patriot is a disappointment. Gorgeous cinematography and a rousing score give the film an impressive sheen, but there's little substance for the gloss to adhere to. Mel Gibson's preformance is uncharacteristically flat, and director Roland Emmerich seems uncomfortable in the historical setting. The battle sequences look good, but the human element has been leeched from the equation. It's like playing toy soldiers with live ammunition. Even the best conflict in The Patriot lacks the power of Braveheart or The Last of the Mohicans to get the nape hairs to stand on end. This is a derivative and relentlessly mediocre motion picture.
A former hero of the French and Indian War, Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson) has renounced fighting forever to raise his family in peace. Although once a wily, efficient and ferocious soldier, he marries a fine woman who bears him seven children and, under her influence, trades his violent past for a peaceful future on his sprawling plantation.
But rebellion is brewing. Another conflict, this time with England, is inevitable.
A dedicated family man, Martin is not anxious to return to battle. Recently widowed, he has different goals now. He is the sole caretaker of his brood, and the horrors of past combat haunt him still. "If you're asking whether I'm willing to go to war with England, the answer is no. I've been to war, and I have no desire to do so again," says Martin in an emotional address to the Charleston Assembly. "I have seven children. My wife is dead. Who's to care for them if I go to war?"
Benjamin's eldest son, Gabriel (Heath Ledger), harbors no such doubts. The radical speeches, pamphlets and newsletters that begin in the cities and pews and traverse the Colonies make an impression on the young man. War is coming, and the cause, he feels, is just. In defiance of his father, Gabriel joins the fight.
Benjamin Martin is conflicted— as stalwart as he is in his opposition to the war, he believes in the cause. Then the British, led by the cruel Colonel Tavington (Jason Isaacs), arrive at his doorstep and endanger the one thing he holds most dear— his family. With his South Carolina household threatened, Martin agrees to take up arms alongside his idealistic patriot son and lead a brave rebel Militia into battle against a relentless and overwhelming English army.
In the process, this reluctant hero discovers that the only way to protect his family is to fight for a young nation's freedom.