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By Merle Bertrand | August 9, 2000

No, not “THE Patriot.” Just “Patriot,” although one would suspect that if this film was shot back in 1997 and the filmmakers are still sending out trailers for review, this is a film that could use any help from a mistaken identity it can get. One would be correct.
Yet, these trailers don’t help the film’s cause. For starters, while it makes perfect sense to cut trailers of different lengths for different applications, it DOESN’T make sense to send out a tape with all three versions on it. And it doubly doesn’t make sense to do so if all three bear as close a structural resemblance to each other as do these three. That doesn’t intrigue a viewer. It bores him.
As for the film itself, “Patriot” seems to be some sort of low-budget actioner about a mysterious crime fighting organization known as “The Agency.” Comprised of biologically altered superheros — something or other mumbled about “Adrenal Enhancement” or some such bio-babble — the group seems to be morally ambivalent at best. Everyone, that is, except Logan, whose favorite Superfriend must have been Batman. Fashioning himself as a real vigilante, Logan ignores all the Agency’s attempts to reign him. Eventually he becomes a rogue operator, as much of a threat to the Agency as he is to the criminals he determinedly hunts.
For once, someone making a low-budget action film at least seems to have some sense of how to stage action scenes and choreograph fights, so that’s a plus. Unfortunately, the few lines of dialogue that make it into these trailers are as embarrassingly bad as the editing is sluggish. This is one of those films where it’s extremely obvious what the filmmakers had access to — electronic gadgetry, warehouse space, a boardroom and lots and lots of guns — and how they tried to build their film around those assets. A smart idea…but, from the looks of these trailers, one that was poorly executed.
Say something three times, goes the old axiom, and it becomes true. Maybe so. But after viewing three different promo pieces for “Patriot,” the only truth gleaned was that I had no desire to see the actual film.

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