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The Patriot
Running Time: 158 min
Rated: R
Genre: Action/Drama
Starring: Mel Gibson as Benjamin Martin, Heath Ledger as Gabrial Martin

The Patriot is a good 4th of July kind of movie. It's got that whole USA celebration thing going. Because you know no matter what bad things happen in the middle, everything will come together for the better at the end.

So who is this patriot? He's Benjamin Martin (Mel Gibson), a former soldier who is forced to fight once his family is put into danger. And fight he does. The fight scenes in this movie are huge and detailed. The battles are bloody and violent and real. So much is going on, and then the camera can get in real close to show the personal battles. But then pull back and show the huge battle in all it's horrible glory. And in one of these battle scenes I was convinced Mel was about to impale someone with an American flag, kinda like his appearance on "The Simpsons" earlier this year.

But when it's not in these high energy battle scenes, The Patriot drags. It feels slow, and moves slow. You really feel the three hours. The story and all it's side plots seemingly get pushed to the side while you're waiting for the next big battle scene. But like I said when the Patriot is good it's really good. The effects are amazingly well done, and you can tell that the guys who used all those effects in Independence Day (which was itself a good 4th of July, yeah we're Americans movie) had their hands in this.

Well The patriot can be summed up with something Heath Ledger's (he plays Mel's son) character is fond of saying. "Stay the course." Which means take the course that you you believe is right and go with it. So the filmmakers should have made a choice, between a plot driven serious movie and a big budget, bloody, action movie. Instead both are mashed together to form The Patriot, an overly long, but still very good when it wants to be, movie.

7 / 10

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