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From the Patriot Resource:
gets off to a great start with roving crowd shots and soon immerses you in the era. That is until Al Pacino in the guise of Tom Dobb speaks. His portrayal ruins what could have been a good movie. The filmmakers obviously did their homework with setting and costumes, but didn't tell Pacino to leave his gangster persona offstage.
His Tom Dobb is far from a Patriot. He does not like authority from any party or faction and just wants to be left alone. He does love his son, but does not love the idea of liberty, which makes Daisy McCaughanay's (Nastassia Kinski) infatuation with him all the more improbable. She's an idealist whose desire for liberty goes against the rest of her Loyalist family. Her falling for brooding Tom who is more interested in avoiding taking sides is contrived and their tender moments, especially the one at Valley Forge, ring hollow.
As stated above, the high points of the movie are in the crowd scenes when we are enveloped in the sights and sounds of the times and the low points are whenever the camera is centered on Pacino's Tom Dobb.
After the first twenty minutes of the movie, we had the thought that perhaps the critics were too harsh. Sure, Pacino's Tom Dobb wasn't shaping up to be much of a hero just yet, but neither does Mel Gibson early in The Patriot
After an hour, though, we were in agony since much of the movie from twenty minutes on had centered on Tom Dobb and Pacino's horribly contemporary thuggish performance. Finally, the movie ended and so did the misery.
The movie's portrayal of the British is pretty thin with Sergeant Peasy being the only British character to receive any development. That said, his first action is to run through (kill) surrendering Americans and he only grows more unnerving. He has some strange relationship with Ben, a drummer boy. It was vague and unclear if it was father-son, brother-brother or even veiled pedophilic.
Other than one battle scene looking like it involved only a handful of men and is sparcely staged, the movie's production values were great. Although somewhat barren for the Spring scenes, England was adequately muddy and miserable looking for the winter scenes, while the New York scenes were enthralling.
Overall, we can only recommend this film to those starved for American Revolution films. we personally will only consider watching this movie again to look for little details in the background and will be tempted to mute Pacino's dialogue.
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