Well, for those of you who are still dead-set on Mark Wahlberg's lack of acting ability, I give you 'Patriots Day'; the true story behind the Boston Marathon Bombing of 2013, the aftermath, the people involved, and the city-wide manhunt to bring the terrorists down.
Wahlberg plays the only real fictional character in the otherwise true story, Tommy Saunders. He is meant to be a singular character who represents the officers present on the day of the bombing. Meanwhile, all of the other characters were based on real people, including John Goodman as Commissioner Ed Davis, J.K. Simmons as Sergeant Jeffrey Pugliese, and Kevin Bacon as Special Agent Richard DesLauriers. Several of the victims are also present, including a father who gets separated from his toddler son, a couple who get brought to different hospitals after sustaining major injuries, and the young Asian man who had to deal with the terrorists directly at one point.
Anyway, this is the sort of film that can make a man feel uncomfortable when watching it. While it may not bother me directly, I can't help but feel like this is just barely too soon for others who may be bothered by this sort of thing. Even 'World Trade Center' had it's controversies about opening 5 years after the events. But this is just 3. So, of course, as one my guess, the Twittersphere blew up when seeing pics of Wahlberg filming on location instead of on a set. There's no doubt this is gonna cut through some of the more sensitive viewers.
Other negatives of the film include... well, not much really. You get a little confused at first about the presence of some of the characters involved. Eventually they all lead to something, but I can honestly say I was questioning a few of the characters going "okay, what's up with this guy/girl?" Forgivable, but the real PROBLEM I had with this one was the edits! Good God, it's like a new clip every 3-5 seconds. I mean, I understand there's a lot going on and everything, but these cuts are mostly just unnecessary. It's something I never REALLY gave a damn about until this movie.
Now, as far as what was worth it, again, the acting was well done. So many people I know give Wahlberg a hard time just because they saw one or two of his lesser roles, the primary one being 'The Happening' where he's KNOWN for his bad acting. But if you give 'Patriots Day' a chance, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. The only problem is he's a fictional character in an otherwise very real world. Just keep in mind he's representing those Boston police officers who had to face all of this.
I have to say I was genuinely surprised in the amount of action taking place in this. There's a scene that involves one hell of a shootout. It's like something straight out of a first-person shooter, really intense stuff. I figured while watching it that it was glorified Hollywood action. But then, long story short, sources say it pretty much happened like it was portrayed. That is unbelievable! To know that a straight up video game-like shootout is something that CAN happen is pretty scary stuff, and it adds to the whole suspense of the movie.
So, where do I stand on it? Well, I think to say the release of it is "too soon" is relatively unfair. I get that people are concerned about the victims' families and all, and that's fine. Frankly, I am too. But the message you get at the end of this movie kinda makes it worth coming out sooner. It's a message we as a society understand and can totally get behind. On top of that, once again, this ends with the real people giving interviews (which is becoming a cliche, but how do you argue real people appearing in a movie about them?) and in most articles I've read, a lot of the victims of the attack feel like it's NOT too soon, and that, once again, the message needs to get out to everyone.
Despite a few negatives, I still have to give this movie a positive review in the end. Controversial though it may be, the message we get in the end is one we need. I was impressed by the acting, and I don't mind saying I was tear-jerked during the end interviews. It can be a pretty strong film if you allow it to be and don't take it for America waving it's big flag. It's far more about coming together in the face of adversity than all that.