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
Just watched this movie for about the 20th time (I have it on TiVo) and for the life of me I cannot find the disdain many who have written here have commented on. Last I heard, this was FICTION - NOT a documentary; Ken Burns did not produce not write nor direct nor narrate this piece - Roland Emmerich, a man known for action FICTION did. Yes the depiction of the Revolutionary War was NOT 100% accurate but was never intended to be; just a drama set against the background of a war and it was refreshing to see the war in the background, whereupon American blood is spilled on American soil, was the Revolutionary War and not another Civil War piece; indeed, the Civil War has been played so many times in films over the past quarter century it was just refreshing to see a different war....
Being somewhat of a military historian I will say that the depiction of soldiers going musket to musket in the open field was indeed accurate; many may find it interesting to know that according to the gentlemanly practices of King George's army, both sides would also recess for tea at noon every day and resume the fighting afterwards - guerrilla warfare was not popular during the day which is why Gibson's militia unit was so overtly successful early on. That being said, the comments about the accuracy with the muskets are fairly accurate but I will say that I only see straight barrel musket rifles - none of the bell shape tipped muskets; the longer you keep a projectile on a straight course the more accuracy at longer ranges despite the lack of rifling grooves in the barrels (I spent time on Rifle Teams for 5 years). The prime inaccuracy I noted was when Tavington shot the rider (running away on horseback) in the back with a musket pistol at probably 40 yards or more - so unlikely, it tarnished the whole scene.
My favorite person - Billings; Leon Rippey's cynical, almost giggly snickering laugh completely stole the every scene where it was used and he is a long term favorite actor of mine; Jason Isaacs absolutely best screen villain of this movie (and perhaps in top 10 screen villains of all time).
I guess it boils down to "different strokes for different folks" we all have our opinions on this and I've aired mine.
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