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Film / The Patriot (1998)

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A 1998 American action thriller directed by Dean Semler that follows a doctor's race against time to find a cure for a virus that has been unleashed by a militia leader.

Dr. Wesley McClaren (Steven Seagal) is a former government immunologist turned doctor of the small town of Ennis, Montana. With his daughter Holly (Camilla Belle) and his ranchhand Frank (L.Q. Jones), he spends his days tending to his ranch and the townspeople. However, things change when local Right-Wing Militia Fanatic Floyd Chisholm (Gailard Sartain) gets a hold of a government bioweapon, NAM37, and infects himself, believing he and his militia possess the vaccine. Surrendering after a long standoff, his trial on federal weapons charges ends when he spits at the judge in order to start the spread of the disease. Wesley must find a cure before the virus breaks the quarantine and stop the militia.

The movie also stars L.Q. Jones, Silas Weir Mitchell, Camilla Belle, Brad Leland, Molly Mc Cure, Philip Winchester, and Ayako Fujitani.

It was released on July 10, 1998.

Not related to The Patriot (2000).

Tropes for the film:

  • Cool Old Guy: Frank is a competent ranch hand who sees Chisholm's militia coming and whips out a Browning Automatic Rifle to blow them all away. He gets killed by one of said goons shooting him In the Back with his dying breath as Frank is celebrating.
  • Fat Bastard: Oh, boy, does Floyd Chisholm fit here. He even spends most of the film sweating like a pig because of being infected by the bio-weapon.
  • The Film of the Book: Based on William C. Heine's book The Last Canadian. Although "inspired by" (and loosely, at that) would fit a whole lot better.
  • Improbable Antidote: The antidote to the bio-weapon Chisholm unleashes without having a cure ready happens to be the petals of a flower that grows near the town - a tea made with them gets you right as rain within hours. The drama (and asskicking) of most of the film ensues because the villains don't know that and are hunting down Holly McClaren (the hero's daughter) because they think she is naturally immune.
  • Papa Wolf: After the daughter of Dr. Wesley McClaren is discovered to be immune to the bio-weapon by the militiamen, they decide to take her and harvest her blood for a cure. Very bad idea.
  • Right-Wing Militia Fanatic: The bad guys lead by Floyd Chisholm are the type that willingly would accept being part of unleashing a bio-hazardous cataclysm for the sake of becoming "pariahs" to "the cause" of making America strong.
  • Sawed-Off Shotgun: The Official reason that Chisholm is arrested is for sawing the barrel off of a shotgun. This was because the authorities didn't have the evidence needed to arrest him for the criminal actions of his 'militia group', and didn't know that he had stolen a biochemical weapon and was planning to use it, but did have concrete evidence that he had made an illegal modification to a firearm.
  • Tagline: "Every Second Counts".
  • Would Hurt a Child: The militiamen spend most of the film hunting the McClarens because little Holly is discovered to be immune to the bio-weapon and, not knowing it's because she took an Improbable Antidote, wish to get her and harvest her blood to develop a cure.