THE PATRIOT stars Mel Gibson as a family man named Benjamin Mark, who wrestles with his desire for revenge and the just cause of the American War for Independence in the late 1700s. The cruel British Colonel Tavington, played impeccably by Jason Isaacs, shoots Ben’s 15-year-old son, Thomas, as Ben’s oldest son, Gabriel, is led away captive. Thus, Ben’s fury is unleashed, and taking his two youngest boys, he goes into the woods to fight a guerilla war, slaughtering the British and rescuing Gabriel. Ben continues to wrestle with his sinful desire for vengeance and the worthiness of the Revolutionary cause. Eventually, he sees that he needs to stay the course, and he rejects vengeance to take up the flag.
The violent battle scenes may concern older moviegoers, while younger moviegoers might chafe at the soul-searching, but at the heart of this movie is faith. Prayer runs throughout the film, and the Cross of Jesus Christ is lifted up. THE PATRIOT is thus a terrific, engrossing movie. One can only hope that this soul searching and pain will lead many to search for the God to whom Ben prays so often in this story
Considering that “Gun Shy” is a film that must have seemed without promise or hope even in the screenplay stage, you have to wonder what could have possibly induced Banderas to sign on to appear in it. My guess is that he saw the first couple of pages, read that he was going to be playing a gone-to-seed rock star and agreed to do it right then, before reading the rest and finding out that he would be spending the majority of the film sitting around and doing virtually nothing while wearing a goofy-looking wig and wouldn’t get to get in touch with his inner rocker until a musical number during the end credits that give the proceedings the only shot of discernible energy. (For a film that has little story to speak of, it has so many different scenes taking place during and after the end credits that they should rename it “Marvel's Gun Shy.”) Until then, he just spends his screen time acting like an idiot while looking mortified at the inanities he has been asked to enact.