A veteran policeman, Murtaugh, is partnered with a younger, suicidal officer, Riggs. They both have one thing in common: hating working in pairs. Now they must learn to work with one another to stop a gang of drug smugglers.
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
Screenwriter Robert Rodat called the final battle a hybrid between the Battle of Guilford Courthouse and the Battle of Cowpens: The mixture of militia and Continental army in the battle. The militia's reputation of not holding and the tactic of using that to lure the British in. The militia only firing a couple of volleys before a planned retreat to a secondary line composed of the Continental army. The Continental army firing and then performing a bayonet charge. See more »
When the militia is coming over the hill to see the British military lined up and waiting for the final battle scene you see a distant cannon fire and almost immediately impact very close to the American lines. With the range of the shot it would have taken 2-3 seconds for the ball to cover the distance. See more »
I have long feared that my sins would return to visit me, and the cost is more than I can bear.
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Samuel Johnson was right when he identified patriotism as the last refuge of a scoundrel, and the proof is in this cartoon call to arms from the makers of 'Independence Day' and the Hollywood remake of 'Godzilla'. The film is a bubblegum whitewash of early American history, with all the misguided crowd-pleasing appeal of an Armed Forces recruitment ad, casting Mel Gibson as a conscientious objector (in screen vernacular always the next worse thing to an outright sissy) who rediscovers the moral rewards of deep commitment during the Revolutionary War, mostly by slaughtering half the Redcoats in New England. Screenwriter Robert Rodat waves the flag more stridently here than in his previous 'Saving Private Ryan', helping Gibson to shed his pacifism by presenting him with an adversary (British colonel Jason Isaacs) so evil and sadistic that even his own troops despise him (and later impaling the villain directly onto the Stars and Stripes, in a particularly grisly bit of low-brow propaganda).
The story invites obvious comparisons with Gibson's own Oscar winning 'Braveheart', but despite the quality of the production (and the transparent self-importance of its epic 160+ minute running time) the film is still little more than a prestigious vendetta drama, on the same emotional and intellectual level as any Charles Bronson 'Deathwish' scenario. Ace cinematographer Caleb Deschanel provides the fabulous scenery, and then newcomer Heath Ledger valiantly takes up the matinée idol torch passed to him by his on-screen father (and fellow Aussie heartthrob) Gibson.
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