Stronger – The Boston Marathon Movie We Needed First

In the Fall of 2016 , Hollywood released the first movie based on the bombing that took place at the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon. The movie’s star (Mark Wahlberg) and  director (Peter Berg) stated that their intent in making the film was to tell the story of the bombing in a way that honored the city and citizens of Boston and those who were affected by the bombing. The movie, Patriots Day, received mostly positive reviews from critics, however, the film failed to attract a large audience. 

As a marathon runner that has run the Boston Marathon and as movie buff, I personally thought that Patriot’s Day was decent movie that adequately paid tribute to the amazing citizens of Boston and their strength. With that being said, I walked away from the film deflated. Yes, the terrorists behind the attack had been caught, but the stories of those left dead and injured were left untold. The review I wrote for Patriots Day in January was titled “A Missed Opportunity“.

My review gave credit to the team behind Patriot’s Day for achieving their goal of making a movie that honored the citizens of Boston, but, in the end, stated that Patriots Day was not the movie I wanted to see about the bombing. I wanted to see the story of the people who had the strength to fight their way back from the brink of death. The people who learned how to live without their loved ones or their legs that were lost in the bombing. The people who carried on so the rest of us who were terrified by the events of that April afternoon could see their example of courage. The example that so clearly states to the terrorists who commit these dastardly acts that we will not live in fear of them and the human spirit cannot be killed by their bombs.

This Fall, Hollywood will give us their second movie based on the Boston Marathon bombing. The first trailer for the film titled “Stronger” was released yesterday. After watching the trailer, I can say without hesitation, that this is the movie that I wanted to see last Fall.

Stronger tells the story of Jeff Bauman. Jeff was standing near the finish line holding a sign that he had made to support his girlfriend that was running the marathon when the bombs went off. He lost both of his legs in the attack, but he fought his way back from his injuries to lead the life he had planned for before the bombing took his legs.  

Most of you reading this post will recognize Jeff and the man that saved him (Carlos  Arredondo) from the iconic photo above that was included in the Sports Illustrated article about the bombing. Carlos saved Bauman’s life by tying off his crippled legs with a sweater, placing him in a wheel chair, and pushing him to the back of an ambulance. Jeff Bauman is alive today because Carlos ignored getting himself to safety to help someone in need.

Jeff and Carlos have remained in contact and last July, they completed a mile race together. Jeff walked on two prosthetic legs, and, due to a recent surgery, it was Jeff who pushed Carlos across he finish line in a wheel chair. Their story had come full circle.

I have included a couple more photos of great moments that took place along Jeff’s road to recovery below.

Meb shaking Jeff’s hand at the finish line of the 2014 Boston Marathon moments after becoming the first American to win the race in 31 years.
Jeff getting ready to throw out the first pitch at Fenway

As stated above, this is the type of movie that I wanted to see last Fall. A movie that not only honors the citizens of Boston, but a movie that honors the courage and amazing spirit of those that survive these tragedies and inspire the rest of us.

Watch the trailer for Stronger below. Enjoy! You might want to have a tissue handy.

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