Cinema: A Cheer For Old Glory

The Patriot comes out strongly on the winning side

It has everything you want in an epic: sweep, scope, wild reversals of fortune and plenty of bold, basic emotions. It offers a stalwart hero and a sneering villain, bloody battles and daring rescues, tender love, heedless cruelty and, above all, scores of attractive human beings who have pledged their lives, fortunes and sacred honor to a desperate but noble cause.

What's not to like about The Patriot? Well it certainly suffers from irony deficiency. It is four-square for democracy and decency, and this, of course, will cause a certain amount of superciliousness among the postmodernist swells. Since it is a...

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