The lifelong friendship between Rafe McCawley and Danny Walker is put to the ultimate test when the two ace fighter pilots become entangled in a love triangle with beautiful Naval nurse Evelyn Johnson. But the rivalry between the friends-turned-foes is immediately put on hold when they find themselves at the center of Japan's devastating attack on Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 1941.
OK! Lets not beat around the bush, it's historically suspicious, badly written, badly cast and clearly an hour too long. A splendid "support cast" are wasted as Michael Bay and his production team think they can produce some sort of Titanic of the Skies like epic and fail in their objective. By the time of the brilliantly constructed assault by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor, and "it is" exhilarating and edge of the seat heart pounding, you are left with the feeling that all the main characters in the piece are not really worth our emotional investment.
It's not an outright stinker, situations such as the nurses trying to cope in the hospital during the attack are poignant, and there's a jingoistic - cum - romantic fervour that screams out that the film wants to be genuine in making you feel, well, emotionally battered. However, given the budget and time you are asked to invest in the story, it's impossible not to feel cheated as the clock ticks past the three hour mark.
Perhaps it's unfair to use Titanic as a template for this type of epic? Especially since over the course of time many have come out of the woodwork to knock Titanic when previously there were nods in appreciation for it, all be it grudgingly. But Pearl Harbor just doesn't have enough about it to make it even a "time waster" recommendation, and this even allowing for some quality "Bayhem" action as the film rolls into its blunderbuss third quarter. 5/10
Jerry Bruckheimer Films, Touchstone Pictures by Michael Bay, Randall Wallace.
Stars: Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett, William Lee Scott.
Genres: Action, Drama, History, Romance, War
Keywords: nurse patriotism hawaii world war ii pilot pearl harbor u.s. air force airplane war army love pin-up
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