It is 1776 in colonial South Carolina. Benjamin Martin, a French-Indian war hero who is haunted by his past, now wants nothing more than to live peacefully on his small plantation, and wants no part of a war with the most powerful nation in the world, Great Britain. Meanwhile, his two eldest sons, Gabriel and Thomas, can't wait to enlist in the newly formed "Continental Army." When South Carolina decides to join the rebellion against England, Gabriel immediately signs up to fight...without his father's permission. But when Colonel William Tavington, British dragoon, infamous for his brutal tactics, comes and burns the Martin Plantation to the ground, tragedy strikes. Benjamin quickly finds himself torn between protecting his family, and seeking revenge along with being a part of the birth of a new, young, and ambitious nation. Written by
While it's definitely no Braveheart, it's still a solid film.
It's very easy to label this film as a Braveheart rip off from the trailers (which is what I thought), but after watching it, it's actually a completely different film.
The basic plot involves Mel Gibson's character and his family's experiences surviving and fighting in the American Revolution in South Carolina.
The film really excels in it's cinematography and the beautiful locations. Almost every shot in the film is picturesque and dripping with detail and rich colors. The acting is also extremely well done with another rock solid performance by the dependable Mel Gibson. In fact, I really couldn't find a weak person in the cast.
Possibly the major flaw that I found was the film's running time of 165 minutes. There are some points where the film drags a bit and I think that with a bit more editing and fine tuning of scenes this film could have be a lean and mean 120 min. film.
Another complaint that I had was the battles. While technically well staged and choreographed, they also didn't quite get me involved like I thought they would. In fact, I thought that some of the quieter scenes in the film were some of the most successful.
Overall though, I enjoyed the film and while it has it's share of problems, it's still turned out much better than I was anticipating.
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