PEARL HARBOR


2001

7/10

DIRECTOR: Michael Bay

In 2001, I went to the cinema with high hopes for what looked like an epic recreation of the attack on Pearl Harbour, but arrived home bitterly disappointed. Watching again on DVD later that year did the film some favours, but Tora! Tora! Tora!, this isn’t.

I find the pyrotechnical approach to the battles to be more reminiscent the A-Team rather than the modern brand of war film, and the acting to be little better. But on the plus points, the 40’s style postcard look of the film is done to an art and the sound design in first-rate. Let alone the visually stunning action sequences.

The attack on the harbour itself is one of the best aerial set pieces that I have ever seen, though the sequence as a whole had more flair than detail, omitting so many details in favour of driving the Affleck/Hartnett heroics.

Overall the movie is very good popcorn fodder, and looks and sounds great. It is also enjoyable while at the same time being laughable.

This is a project though, riddled with misjudgments, namely the casting of its three leads, the ridiculous love triangle that they inhabit and having Michael Bay direct such an important subject.

Now I love Michael Bay’s work, and yes I know full well the dangers of saying that out loud but I think that he has a talent for popcorn, but should America’s bloody entry into World War II be a popcorn subject? I think not…

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