Watch The Patriot
- 1 hr 30 min
The Patriot is an action film released in 1998 which stars Steven Seagal in the lead role along with actors L.Q. Jones and Gailard Sartain in supporting roles. Directed by Dean Semler, the movie was designed to blend the intensity of an action thriller with a plot that revolves around domestic terrorism and biological threats, themes that have recurrently appeared in the action genre, especially during the late 20th century.
In The Patriot, Steven Seagal plays Dr. Wesley McClaren, a highly respected immunologist and former government operative who has decided to seek a quieter life. He has chosen to dedicate his time to caring for his daughter Holly, portrayed by Camilla Belle, and to his medical practice in a small town in Montana. Despite his efforts to leave his past behind, McClaren is quickly drawn back into a world of danger when an extremist group unleashes a deadly virus in the area.
McClaren's medical expertise and his background as an operative make him the community's best hope for survival against this imminent threat. When the virus begins to spread, it becomes clear that it is no ordinary illness; it is a sophisticated biological weapon. The stakes are high, and the pressure mounts as McClaren must race against time to identify the pathogen and find a cure before the situation escalates to a national catastrophe.
The villain is portrayed by L.Q. Jones, who steps into the role of Floyd Chisolm, the leader of the militant group responsible for the lethal outbreak. Chisolm is not only determined to strike fear into the heart of the nation but is also fueled by a personal vendetta against the government, which he believes is corrupt and must be overthrown. His extremist views and willingness to go to extreme lengths make him a formidable adversary.
Gailard Sartain plays the character of Frank, a close friend and ally of McClaren who assists him in the fight against the terrorists. The relationship between McClaren and Frank adds a layer of camaraderie and loyalty to the film, as they tackle their shared adversaries.
The movie unfolds with a blend of character-driven drama and high-intensity action. Seagal's character is forced to call upon his extensive knowledge and combat skills in order to confront the grave threat. The action sequences are choreographed to capture the essence of Seagal's signature aikido-based fighting style, which has been a key feature of his action hero persona.
The plot also explores the emotional toll that such a crisis has on individuals and the community as a whole. It delves into the father-daughter dynamics, as McClaren's personal life gets increasingly intertwined with the urgency of the situation at hand. The bond between him and his daughter Holly is put to the test as they both face the real possibility of disaster.
From the standpoint of cinematography, the film leverages the scenic backdrop of Montana, using the environment to enhance the tension and isolation felt during the unfolding biological threat. This is coupled with a score that heightens the intensity and mood of the film, complementing the unfolding narrative.
The Patriot also touches on themes of patriotism, responsibility, and the role of individuals in the face of societal threats. As the title suggests, the concept of what it means to be a patriot is central to the film. McClaren's character embodies the ideal of a patriot not just in the martial sense, but also in his commitment to protect and serve his community through his knowledge and skills.
The film's depiction of biological warfare comes with a layer of socio-political commentary about the dangers of extremist ideologies and the risks they pose to innocent civilians. While being primarily an action film, The Patriot incorporates elements of suspense, putting an emphasis on the intellectual battle between the protagonist and the antagonists as much as on the physical confrontations.
As a Steven Seagal vehicle from the late '90s, The Patriot is typical of its time—an era when the genre often combined spectacle with serious undertones. Fans of Seagal would expect him to rise to the occasion not only with his fists and intellect but also with a moral compass that ensures that right prevails over might.
Notably, the movie should not be confused with the 2000 historical war film of the same name, which stars Mel Gibson and Heath Ledger and has an entirely different plot set during the American Revolution. The Patriot (1998) provides viewers with a fusion of action, drama, and the occasionally complex character study, wrapped in a narrative that seeks to keep audiences engaged until the final moments.
The Patriot is a 1998 action movie with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 4.2.