(Review originally written at 12 May 2004)

This movie is so patriotic that it's not even funny anymore. I mean when the main character is literally fighting the English with an American flag, then you know that it can't get any more patriotic as this.

Yet the movie is made with lots of profession and is still eye candy and entertaining to watch. The movie is not as heavy to watch as "Braveheart" but is still full with many epic battlefields of the same proportion.

The balance of drama and spectacular scene's is fairly well and acceptable, with the exception of some needless plot lines that only waste time and the same goes for some of the characters. I have some mixed feeling about the story. The movie begins dramatic with Mel Gibson as a family man that is still coping with the loss of his wife, then it suddenly starts to focus much more on his oldest son (Heath Ledger) and finally for most parts on the war of independence. The way the story is told is not always good or logical.

Another problem with the movie is Mel Gibson. A lot of complaints were that he played to much of the same character as he did in "Braveheart". I experienced this the same way back in 2000 when I saw "The Patriot" in the theater. Basically what I saw was an American William Wallace fighting for freedom. But yes I must admit that now 4 years later this hardly is a complaint anymore.

Jason Isaacs once again was a pleasure to watch. His character was an incredibly stereotyped bad guy but he is such a great actor with such a great villain look that he actually made the character an enjoyable villain. Biggest surprise for me was Chris Cooper. Now, I know that nobody is going to believe me for saying this but I already felt back in 2000 that this guy would some day win an Oscar, something that happened in the year 2003 for his role in "Adaptation".

The cinematography by Caleb Deschanel is wonderful and so is John Williams musical score, which both got nominated for an Academy Award along with Kevin O'Connell, Greg P. Russell and Lee Orloff for the category best sound.

You'll most likely appreciate this movie much better if you are a (patriotic) American. For those people I rate this movie an 8/10. For everybody else this movie is nothing more as an entertaining movie without any memorable scene's or deeper meaning. For this majority I rate this movie an:


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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