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Sales Rank: 1,532
Actors: Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson, Jason Isaacs, Chris Cooper Director: Roland Emmerich Rating: Features: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC Running Time: 165 minutes Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1 Release Date: October 24, 2000 Theatrical Release Date: June 28, 2000 Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
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PATRIOT - DVD Movie
Aimed directly at a mainstream audience, The Patriot qualifies as respectable entertainment, but anyone expecting a definitive drama about the American Revolution should look elsewhere. Rising above the blatant crowd pleasing of Stargate, Independence Day, and Godzilla, director Roland Emmerich crafts a marvelous re-creation of South Carolina in the late 1770s aided immeasurably by cinematographer Caleb Deschanel, and Robert Rodat's screenplay offers the same balance of epic scale and emotional urgency that elevated his earlier script for Saving Private Ryan. Unfortunately, Emmerich embraces clichés and hackneyed melodrama that a more gifted director would have avoided. Instead of attempting a truly great film about the most pivotal years of American history, Emmerich settles for a standard revenge plot with the Revolutionary War as an incidental backdrop.
On those terms, the film is engrossing and sufficiently intelligent, especially when militia leader Benjamin Martin Mel Gibson cagily negotiates with British General Cornwallis Tom Wilkinson in one of the most rewarding scenes. For the most part, the story concerns Martin's anguished quest for revenge against ruthless redcoat Colonel Tavington played with snide relish by Jason Isaacs, and the rise to manhood of Martin's eldest son, Gabriel Heath Ledger, whose battlefield honor exceeds even that of his brutally volatile father. At its best, The Patriot conveys the horror of war among innocent civilians, and the epic battle scenes, while by no means masterful, are graphically intense and impressive. And although Ledger's love interest Lisa Brenner is too bland to register much emotion, the focus on family which frequently relegates the war to background history provides a suitable vehicle for Gibson, who matches his achievement in Braveheart with an effectively brooding performance. --Jeff Shannon