Back in the year 2000, when Mel Gibson was considered a respectable actor, he made a film called The Patriot. This film was very well done, even with it’s similarities to Braveheart (which I will not be reviewing today). It actually gave me patriotic feelings after watching (and negative feelings for the British from the 1700s). It is loosely based upon Francis Marion (the “Swamp Fox”), though it only touched on Marion’s impact on the Revolution in South Carolina.
Mel Gibson plays Benjamin Martin, a widower father in South Carolina with a bunch of kids. Because of past actions in the French and Indian War and fear for his family he refuses to fight in the Revolutionary War. But when the jerk colonel (the guy who plays Lucius Malfoy from Harry Potter) in the British army burns down his house, takes his oldest son (Heath Ledger) to be hanged, and kills his 15 year old son (Ephram from Everwood) for almost no reason, Martin has the motivation to fight and save his son. Soon he is considered by the British to be “The Ghost” and he ends up leading a militia.
With amazing visuals and non-cliche storyline, this film is not Hollywoodized or cheesy. It shows watchers the cruelty and reality of the Revolutionary War. It is quite historically accurate, though not perfect and is an excellent historical film (not documentary). This film is really well made, with really great acting.