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The Patriot

Director:Roland Emmerich
Writer:Robert Rodat
Columbia Pictures; R; 158 minutes
Cast:Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson

German-born director Roland Emmerich is out to prove that nationalism is alive and well. The Patriot becomes a prehistory to Independence Day. Like ID4, Emmerich puts a heavy emphasis on family values as upheld through success in homeland-defense warfare. Mel Gibson stars as Benjamin Martin, the 1776 Southern plantation owner without any slaves. His eldest sons enlists to fight the Redcoats, and reluctantly Martin brings his renowned battle abilities to the fray.

What follows is Revolutionary bombast, cannonball-in-your-face filmmaking with live-wire Gibson at the historically inaccurate center. The black Americans are happy and well-respected, the British Colonel (Jason Isaacs) is a cold-blooded monster, and slo-motion battle scenes draped with American flags are prevalent.

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