Pearl Harbor

Tagline : It takes a moment to change history. It takes love to change lives.

Runtime : 183 mins

Genre : War History Romance Drama

Vote Rating : 6.9/10

Budget : 140 million $ USD

Revenue : 449.2 million $ USD

Reviews for this movie are available below.

Plot : 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.

Cast Members

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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

After about half an hour, I started to wonder if this film was going to take as long to get going as a pearl takes to form in an oyster! It's a close run thing, as it must be around eighty minutes in before the Japanese come to the rescue of the audience and introduce some action into this over-long and dreary romance. Certainly it is all handsomely presented with Ben Affleck ("Rafe") at his most swarthy as he gets it to together with "Evelyn" (Kate Beckinsale). Having put us through the usual "how to get the girl" shenanigans, though, he heads off to the UK to help in the Battle of Britain. It's from here that reports reach her that he has been killed. Enter his best friend "Danny" (Josh Hartnett) who tries to console her before, well you can guess the rest. You can also easily guess that Affleck was being paid way too much money to be out before the fighting began in earnest, so back he duly arrives and a yawn-making love triangle takes over the plot. When we finally do start to focus on the events of December 7th, 1941, the action partially redeems this film. Twenty minutes of a quickly paced depiction of the meticulously planned destruction of the US Pacific fleet that caused mayhem and carnage upon their ill-prepared quarry. The creative use of CGI and intricate photography illustrate well both the human catastrophe as well as the significant destruction of materiel. Of course, our two survive and together with their erstwhile CO "Doolittle" (Alec Baldwin) are drafted into the retaliation plan than involves a perilous, long range, bombing attack on Tokyo to demonstrated that they still have the capacity for potent response. This is two films, really, and I much preferred the later stages. Even then, though, it has a shockingly poor script and the characterisations are weak and undercooked. The technology is used well, but that's about all I can say for this sentimental and meandering offering.

**_A fine drama/romance combined with great war action_** "Pearl Harbor" (2001) is a Titanic-ized version of the tragic events of Pearl Harbor—a fabricated drama/romance hooking the viewer into the deceitful attack of December 7, 1941. It's 85 minutes before the attack occurs so the drama/romance and build-up to the infamous day BETTER be good, and it is. It's believable too (except maybe for the premature sex scene, which inaccurately transfers modern morals to the early '40s). This first act successfully brings us back to the era of the early '40s and sets the stage for the attack. I didn't think there would be any action until the big attack but I was wrong, as we get some quality action when Rafe (Ben Affleck) goes over to Europe to fly for the British. There are also a couple of fight sequences. While dancing & drinking, Evelyn (Kate Beckinsale) comments to Rafe how shy Danny (Josh Hartnett) seems to be while he’s shown just sitting at a table too shy to talk to a girl or ask someone to dance. Rafe responds that Danny is like a brother to him, that Danny's father abused him, and he therefore lacks confidence. While these characters are fictional, this is REAL. Much later, Danny goes to a woman's apartment fumbling & stumbling to ask her out. The conversation is, of course, awkward. He then walks away, speaking under his breath, "You're such an idiot!" This is good stuff. The film also shows that the timid average-looking man can win the heart of a beautiful woman just as well as the confident handsome man. It's simply a matter of passion, patience, risk, humble pie and playing your cards right. As for the Pearl Harbor attack, it's a full 30 minutes of great war footage. Critics argue that there are many historical inaccuracies in the film, but what? Seriously, what is so historically inaccurate in the film? I'm sure there are a few minor inaccuracies (maybe Jimmy Doolittle's boot laces weren't right, Oh, my God!!), but what film with a historical backdrop ever has everything 100% right? The gist of the event is accurate. And the subplot with Cuba Gooding Jr. as Navy boxer Doris Miller is a true story. The film is also respectful of the Japanese viewpoint as they meticulously plan, prepare for, and carry out their massive raid. I felt this was generous on the filmmakers' part since nothing can justify their deceitful and cowardly assault. They spoke with forked tongue of peace while planning the unprovoked aggression. Meanwhile there’s a great scene showing the Japanese pilots the night before the raid, praying and psyching up for the attack. It's very realistic. After the attack, I knew there was a good 50 minutes left in the film so I was apprehensive regarding the remainder of the story; not to worry, though, as this final act compellingly details The Doolittle Raid, the first American bombing mission over Japan. More great war action. This bold mission took place a mere 4.5 months after the Pearl Harbor attack on April, 1942. The raid is notable in that it was the only time in US military history that bombers were launched from an aircraft carrier. Sixteen modified bombers with five-men crews successfully bombed 10 military and industrial targets in and around Tokyo. Unfortunately, this was a one-way mission and they were forced to fly to mainland China to land, crashland or bail out, IF they had enough fuel, that is. Most of the Americans made it to China and safety with the help of Chinese civilians and soldiers, but hey paid dearly for helping as it is estimated that the Japanese killed 250,000 Chinese, vengefully searching for Doolittle's men! Incidentally, Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle is greatly portrayed by Alec Baldwin and, true to history, the picture shows Doolittle taking part in the daring mission. More historical accuracy. Some criticize that the Doolittle Raid doesn't belong in the movie, but nothing could be further from the truth. If all the flick showed was the Pearl Harbor attack and the immediate aftermath it would've ended on a real downer. Showing the successful Doolittle Raid makes the film end on a positive note. What effect did the raid have at the time? For one, it caused American moral to soar from the depths. It has the same inspiring effect on viewers. In light of all the criticism I kept waiting for "Pearl Harbor" to stumble and fail, but it never happened. Yes, the viewer has to be open to the drama/romance as it leisurely unfolds, but this just helps make the viewer CARE about the characters before the tragic events inevitably occur. I'm not a fan of Michael Bay. I have zero interest in his "Transformers" films, but this is great filmmaking. It provokes interest in the events and inspires the viewer to research them in more detail. The film runs 3 hours, 3 minutes. GRADE: A

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