The Patriot (1998)

ThePatriotCoverThere’s an outbreak in the mountains of Montana! An outbreak of Seagal! Steven Seagal plays the tan and puffy Dr. Wesley McClaren, a local doctor who specializes in homeopathic remedies and doesn’t mind trading his services with townspeople who can’t afford his quack treatments for the odd job around the office like fixing his cabinets.

It’s really only a token gesture on Seagal’s part since the old timer who’s going to fix his cabinets will likely be dead of kidney failure since he’s using Seagal’s patented diet and vitamin regimen instead of going to those big city doctors who want to put him on dialysis. Of course nowadays, the old fart could just knock back a six pack of Steven Seagal’s Lightning Bolt Energy Drink and be fixed right up.

Dr. Steve lives a peaceful life with his country practice, ranch, daughter, and crusty cowhand Frank (L.Q. Jones of The Beast Within). The beauty of his country practice is that he doesn’t just confine his jibber jabber about natural healing to the ignorant townspeople. He also goes around sticking cows and horses with his jungle juice whenever Old Paint goes down with a bout of the Hershey Squirts.

In fact, while your average cliched Seagal flick may begin with some kind of shootout, drug deal or Nam flashback, this one has Dr. Steve saving the cutest little pony you have ever seen! Why, when I saw that chunky bastard riding his horse while carrying this itty bitty pony, I knew that if I died right then and there that I wouldn’t mind at all, because what else is there that the cinema has to offer after that?

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But dang, that why’s they got those suicide prevention hotlines! Just when you think your life’s complete, that you’ve seen it all and done it all, Dr. Steve turns out to be living right next to a militia compound! And that militia compound is right in the middle of a standoff with the federal government!

And the militia has some stolen NAM-37 biological warfare agent that they’re going to unleash on the unsuspecting rubes of Ennis, Montana! What’s a simple country doctor supposed to do once Floyd, the militia leader spits some NAM-37 in the face of the local judge and turns an idyllic western paradise into a sweaty, open-sored hotzone?

There’s only two things that Dr. Steve knows how to do better than any man alive – cure plagues and kick ass! As it turns out, before Dr. Steve began dispensing wisdom to his daughter at the breakfast table about how horses are braver than people because they want to die alone, he was the best biological warfare guy in the CIA!

But when the government wouldn’t listen to him and destroy their stockpile of killer germs, he turned in his badge and quit the force! You see, all that stuff he was doing with the CIA was to protect America against foreign germ attacks, not to create weapons of mass destruction. How could he anticipate that the military would let it get stolen and sold to a militia that lived right next door to him? You can’t blame Dr. Steve for that!

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The militia’s plan (whatever it was) hits a speedbump when the antidote they’re planning to use on themselves turns out not to work! And it’s the same antidote that the government goons in hazmat suits are trying to use on the townspeople to stop NAM-37!

The only hope seems to lie with the one person who was exposed to the germ but didn’t get sick Guess who that is? Dr. Steve’s daughter! Dr. Steve also never gets sick, but no one seems to notice that until almost the end of the movie. In any case, Dr. Steve and his daughter escape the militia and head up into the mountains to hole up with Grandpa!

Grandpa? Who gives a crud about some old grandpa? Well, just like Dr. Steve has secret kung fu/scientific research powers, so does Grandpa have his own super duper abilities!

Grandpa is actually a Blackfoot Indian and you know what that means – he’s an expert in the Old Ways! This means he knows all about local plants and is able to advise Dr. Steve that chasing knowledge is like chasing deer or some such nonsense. Dr. Steve though is only at Grandpa’s to dump his daughter off on his way to the secret underground government lab he used to work at.

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Once in the underground lab, you get to see a Dr. Steve you’ve never seen before. No longer will his karate chops and kung jitsu be of any use! In this arena, Dr. Steve’s mind must become the ultimate weapon! If it requires Seagal to wear eyeglasses and peer into microscopes, so be it! No sacrifice is too great, no challenge too tough!

Now grasshopper, you must endure…the research montage! Beakers are shaken! Colored liquids are created! Labs are torn up in frustration! And finally, Dr. Steve must stand dejectedly in a hallway full of stiffs before the big breakthrough comes!

It was Grandpa’s wildflower tea! Tea that Dr. Steve and his daughter had been drinking! Take that newfangled government doctors! Old Ways owns your sorry butts!

What’s awesome about this is that this allows the movie to end with military helicopters dropping flower petals all over the town! Grandpa even comes down from his mountain retreat to town to check things out! Me and Dr. Steve never thought we’d live to see the day!

Dr. Steve does manage to shoot some militia men and stab their leader in the head with the stem of a wine glass, but I think you’ll agree that that’s strictly bonus material in this one! Certain to inspire many viewers to become immunologists and/or Blackfoot Indians.

© 2013 MonsterHunter

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