The fallout from the movie has been extensive and continues as the movie enters the home video market across the world. A website with an open letter decrying Mel Gibson's participation in Braveheart and The Patriot can be found at www.melgibson-sucks.com. History sites, including Discovery.com and TheHistoryChannel.com have lined up to point out historical inaccuracies great and small that can be found in the movie.
One of the most interesting results of the film's release mirrors what happened almost 220 years ago when Banastre Tarleton returned home to England. At the time, he was heralded as a hero, in spite of his defeat at the Battle of Cowpens, which had virtually destroyed British Light Troops in the South. Tarleton became the toast of London, even moving into the Prince of Wales' social inner circle.
On the Internet, websites are appearing that praise The Patriot's William Tavington, his inspiration Banastre Tarleton and the actor Jason Isaacs. Sites such as Oatmeal for the Foxhounds and The Silver Whistle endeavor to "set the record straight," about Banastre Tarleton. The sites have reviews of The Patriot, in which Tavington's attacks on the Martin family are cheered and express disappointment that Tavington dies at Benjmain Martin's hands and does not survive the war like Tarleton had.
The Patriot had a subdued run at the box-office, although it did gross about $85 million in the United States. In Britain it met with such strong protests that the American ambassador to England came out with several public statements distancing the US government from the movie's portrayal of the British. Gibson himself did not shy away from the spotlight and appeared at the London premier.
The Patriot did not perform in Britain as well as Chicken Run, an English-born stop-action animated movie that employed Gibson's vocal talents. The Patriot is considered a disappointment at the box-office given the talent and budge involved. Gibson's own box-office status has not been hurt by the controversy as his next movie, What Women Want, easily grossed over $100 million in America.
Critics have praised the acting by Heath Ledger, Jason Isaacs and even Mel Gibson along with the film's production values, insuring its place as a solid rental movie along side Braveheart. Unlike the last big Hollywood attempt at the American Revolution, 1986's Revolution which starred Al Pacino, The Patriot won't disappear onto the second-rate/bad movie shelf. The movie will surface at least once a year on lists of recommended patriotic films. In spite of protests, the British will long have to put up with Braveheart and The Patriot.
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