Slobbering Romance About Deadly Serious US History
I can't imagine what on Earth director Michael Bay had in mind when he made a dripping romance out of the most tragic WWII attack on us soil in the 20th century: Pearl Harbor. For one hour + his audience was forced to slumber through a sickening tryst between two best buddy pilots and a Navy nurse. This didn't even make for decent television drama, let alone worthy of the silver screen. What a disappointment and waste of 3 hours!
There were a total of 10 minutes of actual visually performed patriotism led by Alec Baldwin, who must have been desperate to play in a role that was way beneath him. Ben Affleck plays an ego-maniac pilot who wants to fight for the British just to be in a plane he's so self-centered and eager for war.
What was noted as "Spectacular special effects vividly recreat[ing]the attack in devastating detail as bombs explode, torpedoes shoot through the water, and bullets fly, shaking tranquil Pearl Harbor to its core," is nothing but computer technology of the most rudimentary kind. It was nothing but human carnage. Perhaps this is a manly man's movie made for the likes of those who enjoy Braveheart, Titanic, The Flight of 93, The Passion of the Christ, 9/11, and other such ultra-boring block-buster drivel.
Definitely for those who don't care about history, and prefer their tragedies to be soft padded with straight sex and drippy romance. Not recomended for children due to overt heterosexual situations and graphic, if not brute, violence.
107 of 113 people found this review helpful.
Yes. but it may hurt.
Pearl Harbor will appeal to many with its big names, its schmaltzy and contrived love story, its special effects for their own sake and its simplistic appeals to patriotism, morality and retaliatory violence. Yet the reality is that its just another installment in Hollywood's ongoing butchery of history for its own corporate ends: film-makers who use events like the bombing of Pearl Harbor want to exploit its sentiment but feel no duty to do it justice historically. The tepid disclaimer offered by its makers - that this movie is actually a 'love story' and not a docu-drama - should be swallowed by no-one (why then call the movie "Pearl Harbor" and not "Hearts across Oahu"?) The disappointing outcome of this misrepresentation is that many, if not most will leave the cinemas or turn off the DVD and think "So, that was what it was all about..!" Actually, it was probably nothing like this.
The movie goes for about three hours when less than two would have sufficed, and the surplus length can be attributed to both prolonged scenes of the bombing raid on Pearl Harbor itself, and the set-up of perhaps the most pointless and pitiful love triangle in cinematic history. Beckinsale, Affleck and Hartnett tango around each other for far too long, combining disinterested looks with utterly ridiculous platitudes and emotional observations (in fact the whole screenplay for this movie ranges from mediocre to utterly atrocious). Inserting a love story into an epic war movie is tantamount to breast enhancement surgery: get it wrong and the whole package will look utterly ridiculous - and this one was done by a butcher, not a master surgeon. Perhaps the screen writing budget was instead spent on the special effects and bombing scenes, which were too long and offered nothing except a half-hour of noise, cacophony and flying things. It added no meaning or redemption to the film - and by this stage it was craving for it, after the romantic interludes.
Of course every Hollywood blockbuster needs absolution and resolution, so there's some of that. Cuba Gooding Jnr. plays a black USN cook who, in the heat of battle, mans a gun and shoots some Jap planes, despite being racially excluded from such duties (those canny Afro-Americans, they're always fighting for rather than against their oppressors). Alec Baldwin plays an Army officer who leads a token retaliatory raid on Tokyo four months after Pearl Harbor. Jon Voight does a good job of looking and sounding vaguely like FDR, so full of vigor that he at one stage jumps up out of his wheelchair. Even the Japanese who plan and lead the Pearl Harbour attack, when hearing of its success, seem aware that their actions have doomed them to inevitable defeat. It's all enough to gladden the heart of the most retrospectively-patriotic American. A shame though that reality and patriotism don't make good bedfellows, and that this appalling movie is a simple-minded sideshow that doesn't honor the Pearl Harbor dead, it downright embarrasses them.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.
For a film to come out that is kinda sorta accurate and has some balls to NOT give a tribute to or a dedication to the fallen heroes of Pearl at the end of the movie is an insult to the film and to the veterans. Mike Bay is one of those guys who likes all this cool stuff with the cameras and angles and special effects but he totally missused his talent into making a love story out of this. Think "Titanic" without the boat in Hawaii. If you like that sorta thing by all means buy it. If you are a WWII buff like me, and you're looking for accuracy buy TORA!TORA!TORA! instead. The one thing that this movie has is the effects. As far as acting goes, the southern accents needed work or not even exist because they are horrible and annoying, everyone else did a good job. I wish they put more history of Cuba's Miller in there more for the history of him and what he did exactly. They have a directors cut of this movie that's a little more violent and has a extra scene or two and is almost 3hrs. long. The reason why I bring that up is the extra discs of content which explain what happened in real life and what should have been in the movie more. It also has the actors training in a "basic" type setting. Watching Affleck do pushups is laughable! Don't spend your hard earned money on this movie unless it's the directors cut. Borrow it from someone just to see it.
8 of 9 people found this review helpful.
Will it ever end?
This movie should have been entitled "Have you had enough yet?". The character buildup in this one was outragous..and led you nowhere. I bought this movie for Historical action.. and instead got, well.. ROMANCE. The main theme (I should say DRAG) of this flick was not the attack on Pearl Harbor, but rather the ridiculously predictable love triangle consisting of two pilots and a nurse.
While slightly entertaining, if only to see Benny go down in flames, I wouldn't have paid full price if I'd known the full gist of romantic lunacy this one offered up in huge steaming piles.
If your into a long drawn out plot (if it can be called that) and very little else, get this, you'll love it. Otherwise move on with no regrets or just watch the second half.
16 of 16 people found this review helpful.
NOT JUST A CHICK FLICK
This is one of the best movies I had seen at the time! One minute you want to laugh, the next you want to cry. With actors like Ben Aflack, Josh Hartnett and Cuba Gooding Jr. you know the movie is going to be a hit. Ben Aflack and Josh Hartnett playing the roll of a fighter pilots in the bombing of Pearl Harbor. The love plot in this movie is twisted. It is a must see for everyone!!
1 of 5 people found this review helpful.