Mark Wahlberg is never going to be regarded as one of the most acclaimed dramatic actors in Hollywood, despite picking up an Academy Award nomination for The Departed, but his performances in more serious fare are usually much better than the ones he gives in the run-of-the-mill action movies he regularly appears in.
His frequent collaborations with director Peter Berg are a perfect example of this, with the duo’s true-life stories Lone Survivor, Deepwater Horizon and Patriots Day far superior to the generic and uninspired Mile 22 and Spenser Confidential. Wahlberg is more than capable of commanding the screen if he’s given the right material, but more often than not he reverts firmly to type as a one-dimensional hero in standard genre movies, although he does remain an underrated comedic talent.
Patriots Day arrives on Amazon next month, on September 1st, and it isn’t just the best movie he’s made with Berg, but it also stands out as one of the best of his entire career. Blending together drama, action and thriller elements in a gripping exercise in tension, the dramatization of the book Boston Strong drew a lot of praise from both critics and survivors of the Boston Marathon bombing, although it did face some criticism for placing a fictional protagonist at the center of the story.
It didn’t fare too well at the box office where it made a little over $52 million against a $45 million production budget, but having already dominated Netflix’s most-watched list when it debuted on the rival streaming service earlier this summer, there’s every chance Patriots Day could replicate that success and prove to be just as popular with Amazon subscribers when it lands in just a few days.