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A film directed by Michael Bay is guaranteed to deliver on three levels: the running time will be long, the scale will be unbelievably large, and the surrounding sound will be loud to almost certainly an ear-popping degree. The critical (not necessarily box office) success of his films depends on how well he can balance the three things he's so confident in conveying with good actors and a good script. With "Pearl Harbor," Bay has absolutely no problem in giving us a long, loud and large film, but fails to show us a decent set of performances, a convincing collection of dialogue that makes up a script, or even the slightest amount of historical insight.
Who can forget the disastrous, shocking events that occurred on December 7, 1941? The United States had absolutely no idea and were caught literally with theirs pants down (There are some conspiracy theorists who argue that the U.S. government was in fact aware of the attack earlier on but decided not to warn the appropriate staff because they needed an excuse to go to war. This is unfounded speculation at best). It's a painful, heart-breaking, devastating story of so many deaths, and if there is one thing that this film gets right, the one part that's absolutely perfect, is the 40-minute scene that shows the audience the actual attack in great detail from start to finish.
First an uncountable number of Japanese pilots fly off, ready to sink the American Navy to the bottom of the ocean. So many of the planes flying in unison that can be seen as little black dots in the sky is a terrifying sight and as they pass the island of Hawaii, interrupting the everyday events of the civilians such as a baseball game or a laundry session, the idea of them flying with so much determination and patriotism becomes more and more haunting. Then they finally hit their target. The dizzying display of infinite bullets, missiles and torpedoes fired from the Japanese end is both an exhilarating and chilling experience. Watching so many men helplessly fall to their deaths is an uncomfortable sight, reminding us what wars are capable of. Massive ships start splitting and sinking, taking with it a large band of soldiers who are trying so desperately to swim away. The action sequences are handled with much care using state-of-the-art computer graphics that make everything look so realistic. Bay doesn't just let the audience watch this destruction from a distance, but he actually gets the cameras to zoom in on the bombs themselves and lets us follow their paths, a more intimate, claustrophobic look at the attack. It's not just the action with guns that deserves praising: the subsequent chaos that follows in a nearby hospital is also full of impact. The limited number of nurses and doctors obviously cannot deal with the sudden surge of severely injured, dying patients and they were never ready for this. The hospital is not equipped well enough to deal with a situation this big and their struggle to keep everything together, to save as many soldiers as possible is captured so brilliantly - yes it's incredibly distressing to watch and it's not hard to feel for everyone on the screen.
The film tries to be epic, with big sweeping scores, an overwhelming sense of absolute chaos, characters exploding with emotions and grand cinematography that captures awesome landscapes. Bay seems to get caught up in trying to reach the extremes so much so that the pace of the first half of the film that deals with the build-up towards the attack and a close look at the love triangle never seems to move along. Rafe (Ben Affleck) is a hot-shot pilot who's in love with an attractive nurse, Evelyn (Kate Beckinsale). How they met for the first time and started to fall in love is too cheesy and cringing to even begin describing. Danny (Josh Hartnett) is Rafe's best friend and has always been attracted to Evelyn. The characters are separated by various means and Evelyn is in a difficult position to choose between two good-looking guys. Whilst all of their little drama is going on, America's relationship with Japan seems to be getting worse. That's the summary of the build-up. So imagine everyone's surprise/frustration/disappointment (delete as appropriate), when this flimsy, familiar concept drags on for more than an hour. It's basically an hour of tear-jerking melodrama involving separations, fights and love, very much like a Nicholas Sparks novel/movie.
Making matters worse, the ridiculous script that contains overwritten and unintentionally hilarious lines sadly manage to tone down the dramatic nature of the film. Whenever the mood is supposed to be serious or romantic, it's almost always spoiled by some unnaturally corny remarks by one of the characters. Who wrote things like "you're so beautiful it hurts," or "every night I watch the sunset and soak up every last ray of its warmth, and send it from my heart to yours"? There are many more such bowel-churning lines so please, do watch out. It's easy to blame the actors for this, but look closer and you'll find the cast had a less than mediocre script to work with in the first place.
For a film that deals with a major event in the American history, it chooses to largely disregard the factual accounts behind the story. According to the film's plot, a string of historical events completely rewritten and rehashed by Bay, the Japanese planned the surprise attack because the U.S. decided to cut off their oil supply. This is partly true, but the film does very little to expand on that or explain their motives a little further. So here we have that same formula again: the Americans are always, always the good guys and anyone who dares to oppose them are always the irrational, thoughtless, blood-hungry twits setting out to spread evil. This is in no way a defence to the Japanese government for ordering such a sudden, mass attack but an observation into how the American media can often portray the enemy as completely absent-minded, soulless beings - a very lazy, shallow approach.
In all honesty, the entire film could have been a little less than two hours. Instead, Bay decided to extend the tedious drama as much as possible, turning this into an incredibly dull three-hour experience. The material here is dense and definitely had room to be a noble, spectacular war film given its budget. But regrettably Bay chooses to focus his energy on action and dry romance only. The laughably atrocious lines don't help. A "Titanic" wannabe, apart from that stunning 40-minute sequence, the rest of the film is a painfully slow experience.
I really enjoyed this movie that has mixed reviews. Released in 2001 some people hated it and some people loved it. I have to admit I think it was good entertainment if not drawn out a bit at times. The movie has action and a love story combined together in it in equal measure and is set against the setting of the brutal attack on Pearl Harbor.
This movie kept me interested throughout the majority of the story that unfolded. It is a long movie at about three hours long but well worth it. The film is also emotional not just for the characters whose lives are laid bar in the film, but also for the thousands who were killed in the attack.
The movie opens in rural Tennessee in 1923 with two young men who are best friends, Rafe and Danny. They both have a great desire to be pilots and one day hope to be so.
Rafe McCawley is played by Ben Affleck and his friend Danny Walker is played by Josh Hartnett. They are both believable and likeable characters and played very well indeed.
Years later in March 1941 we catch up with the two friends again and they are now pilots in the army which is what they always aspired to. They are still young and naive and are constantly being lectured by their Captain for the stunts that pull which aren't professional or clever.
In March of 1941 Rafe also meets a beautiful Navy nurse by the name of Evelyn Johnson, played by Kate Beckinsale. He charms her and persuades her to let him pass his 'eye' exam.
And so, rather predictably a love story develops between Rafe and Evelyn as they grow closer over the weeks and months. The last night in New York he tells her has volunteered to be signed up for a squadron in Britain and is leaving the next day. I have to admit some of the touching scenes where they say goodbye are quite cheesy but emotional nonetheless.
The movie goes from black and white to colour when Rafe arrives at the airfield in Britain which seems to signify the changing from an old photo to the scene coming alive.
Throughout the movie the clock is always ticking down and the countdown towards the attack by the Japanese as they plan it all. The war has really begun for Rafe. When Danny arrives back on his own Evelyn fears the worst and that her love has been lost. The last we see of him is when his plane is hit and goes crashing into the sea.
The devastating news about Rafe is traumatic and in the weeks just before the attack, Danny and Evelyn turn to each other for comfort. Then more than one bombshell is dropped in the days just before December 7 and the attacks.
I thought that the attack scenes themselves were fantastic with great speical effects. This whole sequence was very realistic graphically. We witness the real horror of the attacks as the torpedoes hit their target and young sailors are trapped underwater and struggle to survive. As we see this huge ships begin to sink as things start crumbling. We also see the futility of war as the rescue mission is on despite overwhelming odds.
For me I felt complete and utter disbelief and confusion that comes from the attacks. Chaos ensues in every quarter as the Americans realise the severity of their loss.
Despite the movie not being completely faithful to the historical facts it is enjoyable and entertaining. It is a bit predictable but is still a pretty decent movie.
Now as most of you will know Pearl Harbor was bombed by the Japanese during the Second World War. This triggered America into Joining the war and ultimately, many say, influenced the War to be won by the Allies.
Now this film staring the 'cough cough' incredibly talented Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett and beautiful Kate Beckinsale is as a whole a rubbish and standard directed film full of the rubbish very classic cheesy American patriotic movie love.
The story follows the two best friend from child hood Rafe McCawley and Danny Walker who, when old join the Air Force and are seen as the best of the best. When Rafe joins the war and is presumed dead, Danny is unspeakably upset and sees it as his duty to look after Rafes wife.....
With an alright twist of fate and some actually surprisingly brilliant effects with the flying this film actually made me want to become a member of the RAF. Although there is, as always, too much emphasis on the whole relationship side of the film.
There are some pretty stupid inappropriate lines in it which really annoyed me. There was one that went along the lines of - 'what would you do if you knew you had no hope' 'I drive my plane right into the heart of their city' - highly uncomfortable seeing as the music and camera work made out like this man was a hero when it directly reflects what happened on 9/11.
If you care for a summation of Michael Bay's work, Pearl Harbor is perhaps the most quintessentially "Baysian" - a visually impressive, but narratively flimsy film that has a script written by a three year old. That said, it's something of a guilty pleasure because it's got stunning action sequences, and thus I don't feel it's fair to write it off entirely.
The problem with the film is that the initial 80 minutes depict a rather snoozy love story involving United States Army Air Corps First Lieutenants Rafe McCawley (Ben Affleck) and a nurse, Evelyn Johnson (Beckinsale). It becomes something of an awkward triangle (due to some circumstances I won't reveal for the sake of spoilers), as Rafe's childhood friend Danny Walker (Hartnett) is also in love with her. Sadly, this suffocates a film that actually has some visually revolutionary set pieces, primarily the attack on Pearl Harbor itself. At a bloated 180 minutes, it's anything but economical filmmaking, but we've grown to expect this from Bay, given his recent 145-minute mammoth of a film, Transformers 2.
It's a cornball film through and through, and sadly, one that thinks it's being earnest, when the only thing truly genuine about the film is the efforts of the cast, including supporting players Alec Baldwin, Jon Voight, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Dan Aykroyd, Colm Feore, Mako, Tom Sizemore, Jaime King, and Jennifer Garner. The film's second half is a lot more tolerable and focused, but still, the dialogue ranges from tolerable to straight up slapstick.
Pearl Harbor, like many of Michael Bay's films, is agonisingly corny and, at 3 hours long, far too long, but it boasts mostly earnest performances and some stunning visual effects. Above all else, it affirms that Bay knows how to stage visually arresting action sequences.
Pearl Harbor was released in 2001 amidst huge expectations. Costing over $150,000,000 to produce, film lovers flocked in their thousands to see it. The film features a star studded cast, including Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett and Kate Beckinsale. As well as the impressive cast, the film was produced by Jerry Buckheimer, a man who is highly respected in his industry.
I enjoyed this film immensely as I knew very little about the events at Pearl Harbor on morning of Sunday the 7th of December, 1941. However, I've heard the film is historically very inaccurate and americanized. However, this doesn't detract from the films enjoyment in terms of the intense action and the heart wrenching plot that underpins the whole film. In its most basic form, the film follows two childhood friends Rafe and Danny. The outbreak of World War Two forces them to be separated and this in turn has dramatic consequences on their love lives. This truly is an emotional film full of surprises until the end.
Hans Zimmer and Faith Hill deliver an accompanying soundtrack that is perfect for the film and evokes emotion throughout. I would particularly recommend Hans Zimmer's Tennesee which is a fantastic piece of classical music, regardless of the film.
The film is 183 minutes in total which is suprisingly long. My advice is to get some refreshments before you start watching the film. However, the film is certainly not lacking in action or romance which makes it an ideal film for couples or just friends.
Pearl Harbor is the 2001 epic war film based on the real events of the attack of Pearl Harbor during World War II. The film was made on a budget of $151,000,000 and grossed an estimated $449,220,945 at the box office. Despite doing incredibly well at the box office this film bombed (no pun intended) with the critics, largely because of the sheer inaccuracy of the movie from everything to how the bombs drop to the lead characters taking down numerous planes while in the air, not to mention the love story between the three main characters. The film is rated 15 and runs for approximately 183 minutes.
Michael Bay directs the film, he's a director that many people love to hate and has received more critism for Pearl Harbor than any other film in his career. He has however been involved in some fantastic films (directing or producing) such as: Transformers 1 & 2, Bad Boys and Armageddon. Jerry Bruckheimer produces along with Michael Bay. Bruckheimer has been involved with: Enemy Of The State, Coyote Ugly, Black Hawk Down and Pirates Of The Caribbean.
Ben Affleck and the gorgeous Josh Hartnett are of course the main stars of the film, Ben Affleck is famous for his hit or miss movies. He's been in great movies such as Armageddon and The Sum Of All Fears but then he's probably more famous for his diabolical roles in Gigli, Daredevil and Jersey Girl. Josh Hartnett, although not as well known as his co-star but probably with a better success rate than him, he's starred in: Black Hawk Down, 40 Days & 40 Nights and Lucky Number Slevin. Kate Beckinsale (Underworld) plays the love interest for the two men. Other stars include: Jennifer Garner, Cuba Gooding Jr, Jon Voight and Alec Baldwin.
Rafe McCawley (Ben Affleck) and Danny Walker (Josh Hartnett) have been friends since childhood. Both their Father's were in World War 1 so they know first hand how war can affect you, despite that all they've ever wanted to do is become pilots and in their 20's they establish that dream. When Rafe is ordered to England to fight in the ongoing war he leaves behind best friend Danny and loving girlfriend Evelyn (Kate Beckinsale). His plane is shot down and he is pronounced missing in action. When the news reaches Danny and Evelyn they hold a small funeral for him, assuming he's dead. The two of them support each other throughout their trauma and a friendship soon turns to love.
When Rafe miraculously returns home unharmed, he thinks that Evelyn will be waiting for him, however he comes home to see the woman he loves in a relationship with his best friend. The two men fight that night before fleeing after interference. By the morning they hear planes overhead, they assume it's just the army practising but they soon discover it's actually the Japanese coming to bomb them in a surprise attack that one man had predicted by was not listened to. Danny and Rafe go off to fight the Japanese not knowing if they will come back alive to see Evelyn again...
Pearl Harbor is a film that I've seen numerous times before although sometimes I never make it through to the end due to it's colossal running time of 3 hours. Despite that it is a film that I do enjoy when I see it although some bits I tend to fast forward in order to get back to the actual story at hand. I think this film tried to do what Titanic did by taking true events and adding a fictional love story in the hope of attracting a wide audience and becoming a mega hit like Kate and Leo made Titanic. Unfortunately the love triangle between Danny, Evelyn and Rafe is no Jack and Rose!
First of all I think that the film should have been shortened a lot, this film has become renowned for it's 40 minute action scene during the attack on Pearl Harbor and although this was gripping it can be a bit uncomfortable to watch at times. This of course being the aim of the film to show people how devastating war can be but I do think that maybe it would have been shortened so as not to alienate the audience that have come to see the love aspect of the film as opposed to the people that want to witness a war film that rings true to the events of December 7th 1941.
I think this film is a relative failure in both aspects, despite being enjoyable I think that the love story is a bit incomprehensible and the action doesn't accurately mirror the real events that occurred on the morning of December 7th. I think that the love story went a bit too far in my eyes and had no real substance to it, the way that Evelyn swayed from Rafe to Danny and then back and forth made all credibility for the love triangle completely dissolve. It almost seems like Evelyn doesn't care about either men she just wants to be with someone whether it be Danny or Rafe. By the end of the film you've completely lost all compassion for the story, if you've seen the ending you'll know what I mean.
The action, despite all the critism it received for being unrealistic was absolutely fantastic and extremely gripping, you know that the characters are fake but you really feel for them and you find yourself becoming very involved in the action and it really makes you think about how awful war is and it makes you thankful that you didn't have to grow up in that sort of environment. The special effects are fantastic and you can tell that an amazing amount of effect was put into them. I do however think it's a shame that they put so much effort into the special effects but not into staying true to the actual events. This was where the film received a lot of critism and I think that with a film like this it's going to be a very sensitive subject for a lot of people and if you don't get the most important aspect of it right, this being the actual attack then you should expect to receive a lot of negative critique.
This is an extremely long film and when films are this long you expect them to drag a bit and this one is no exception, it has those moments where you just want it to hurry up and finish and this is where I find myself fast forwarding or scene skipping. This is fine if you've seen it as many times as I have but if this is your first watch then I think you should stick with it. As I mentioned earlier I think this film could have been a lot shorter and it's far from faultless however it's an enjoyable film that will keep you hooked.
Despite all it's letdowns I do think that this is an enjoyable war epic and seeing as though war films are probably the films that I avoid most out of any genre it did well at holding my attention all the way through. If you can look passed all it's failures then I think you'll enjoy this film, however you shouldn't go into it expecting anything resembling Titanic as this doesn't even come close.
The DVD is currently available from play.com for £5.99, not too expensive but considering it's quite an old film I was expecting it to be a couple of pounds cheaper. Still, if you haven't seen this before and you're not sure whether you'll like it then you're not going to be losing out on much are you?
The special features include:
Journey to the Screen - The Making of Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor: The Japanese Perspective
Faith Hill Music Video: 'There You'll Be'
Pearl Harbor is a classic American blockbuster movie. It has a good cast with Cuba Gooding Jr, Kate Beckinsdale, Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, Jennifer Garner, Alec Baldwin and Jon Voight as President Roosevelt, but this film is really dragged out. I enjoy a blockbuster movie and I appreciate a film covering significant moments in history, but the focus of this movie is around the love triangle of two best friends and a beautiful nurse.
The film starts out with the history of Rafe's (Affleck) and Danny's (Hartnett) budding relationship at a young age and their childish games playing in Danny's father's plane. The boys clearly dream of a time when they can fly planes, and it doesn't come soon enough when they join the army. The next scene is of Evelyn (Beckinsdale) on the train with her group of nursing friends recalling how she met and fell for Rafe. That evening Rafe tells Evelyn that he has been sent to England to fly in the Eagle Squad - an outfit for American pilots, she is obviously upset - but not as devastated as expected.
Evelyn and the nurses are instructed to leave for Hawaii, and it so happens that Danny with his outfit are ordered to go to Hawaii too. Rafe and Evelyn write to each other and keep their love alive, but a tragic accident happens and I cannot continue the rest of the plot without giving it away.
What I found disappointing about this movie is that there is so much time given to the love story, so much is taken away from the actual events of Pearl Harbor. I am sure this was planned to pull in bigger audiences and allow a somewhat happy ending. Perhaps it was done to show how distant Americans were from the war and the extent to which they were massively unprepared and supercilious. Doris Miller (Gooding Jr) was the first African American to be awarded the Navy Cross for his bravery, and although there was some time given to this character is was hugely disconnected from the rest of the plot.
The film is fantastic in terms of effects, the agony and shock of the sailors, pilots and nurses was well portrayed. Scenes of the men being trapped still in their beds, the crowds of injured men and woman gaining on the hospital covered in burns was a very emotive scene. Even the portrayal of the Japanese viewpoint during the action scenes was very well done, and the film was nominated for an Oscar in visual effects.
Overall the film is just too long and somewhat predictable in the love story. The tale of love an loss is sad and a little heart wrenching and perhaps was based on a true story, but I find when films focus on the love story they detract from the essence of the main story.
Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale and Josh Hartnett. I couldn't expect more than perfection in this movie and indeed they really satisfied me with the amazing act and a very great movie.
I love Pear Harbor, taking the scene of the World War II, the bombing of Pearl Harbor by Japanese Squad. Because not only it could give me the romance which I really like and also the visual effect of the world war which was really stunned me.
I am not a fan of action movies, so I would only see the drama in this. The two best friends and a woman. I don't know who is the third party in the relationship between them. No good guy-bad guy stories which would make me more impressed on how the story was well written.
The whole story touched me so deep so I was really sorry when I didn't listen to my friend's suggestion when I was started to watch this movie for the first time, to prepare the tissues because I would cry.
And the original soundtrack by Faith Hill. It was something that is not easy to forget. It also remind me to testify here that this movie has a very beautiful musical score.
I believe those who likes drama would love this movie. Plus romance, plus war scene, as what I said earlier, I expect nothing but perfection.
I absolutley adore this film, its fabulous!! :-D
The film is based on a true story, the story of WW2 and the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour, Hawaii.
The story follows the lives of Raf and Danny who are best friends, two young men in the air army in America, the story also involves Evelyn, a military nurse. Raf and Evelyn are a couple after she gave him his jab during his medical to fly.
America are rekuctant to join the war in Europe, and Roosevelt wants to hold out on putting his troops in the war until he absolutely had to. But the odd militant volunteered to fight for England, and Raf was one of them.
But, when Raf goes missing in action, the worst is imagined, and poor Evelyn is left with no boyfriend, and noone to turn to.
But after 3 months, her and Danny meet again, and grow closer, he lost his best friend and she lost her lover at the same time.
In time, they get together even though they feel guilty about it, they love each other and so they feel they have to at least give it a try.
But, when Raf makes a shock return (he wasn't killed in action but managed to escape the freezing waters), he's met by hus best friend and girlfriend together.
On the night he comes back, the Japanese make a surprise attack on Pearl Harbour where they're all based.
I don't want to spoil the rest of the film and the ending, but its an amazing film, the direction is amazing!!
The film will honestly have you in tears, its SOOOO sad!! :-(
the film is on for a long time, I think its coming up to 3 hours, so you do need to be able to keep your attention on the film for that long, which can be hard. But with this film, its very easy to keep up as its such an amazing film!!!!! :-D
Anyone who likes a good sob story, will love this!!!!
I went into this movie with low expectations as to how much I would enjoy it. I'm not a war buff, or an American, and my knowledge of the factual events behind this story is pretty limited. Not to mention the fact that I am not normally a fan of Bruckheimer's overhyped action pics that are usually loaded with big budget effects and a low budget screenplay.
Imagine my surprise when three plus hours flew by and I found myself walking out of the theatre having thoroughly enjoyed the movie.
The character development, while not flawless, was well done. As a viewer, you grow to care, not only about the three leads, but about several supporting characters as well. Admittedly, I cared enough about Rafe, Danny and Evelyn to shed a few tears during the emotional climax scenes.
The comparisons to Saving Private Ryan are inevitable. However it is impossible to fairly compare this movie to the Academy Award winning spectacle that was Saving Private Ryan. Pearl Harbour never pretended to be anything more than a big budget summer blockbuster film - this much is evident from any of the trailers that were being shown before its theatrical release. Saving Private Ryan was a film steeped in realism. It was a graphic recreation of the horrors of D-Day on the beaches and a piece of cinematic genius (even though it doesn't rank on my list of favourite films).
To compare these 2 films is to compare apples and oranges. Perhaps a more adequate comparison would be to liken it to another tale of love and romance set against the backdrop of a historical tragedy - Titanic. While the film falls drastically short of the mark here too, it is far more similar to this film than to the aforementioned SPR. Anyone who went in to this movie expecting to see the events of the attack on Pearl Harbour with a Saving Private Ryan edge, was bound to be heartily disappointed.
Taken on its own merits, Pearl Harbour stands up quite nicely. It adequately represents and recreates the events surrounding December 7, 1941 while giving the movie a greater range to allow it to appeal to a wider audience by adding the fictional story of friendship, love, betrayal and heartbreak. Granted it is flawed, and it is served with a large helping of Hollywood "cheese", but when was the last time a perfect picture made it to the big screen? They are few and far between.
Check your history books at the door and go in expecting to be entertained by this 3 hour saga. To that end, Pearl Harbour succeeds. It is a thoroughly enjoyable summer blockbuster that should have something to appeal to everyone.
Now before I start reviewing this film I am going to make it clear that I am well aware that 'Pearl Harbor' is not factually correct and that yes it does embellish somewhat things that weren't important and miss out other factors. I am however also going to make it clear that I enjoyed this film, as despite its factual inaccuracies it told a decent story in a way that made it pleasant to watch.
'Pearl Harbor' tells the story of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor through the eyes of boyhood friends Danny and Rafe. It all begins when the pair enlists in the Army Air Corps as pilots. During their medical in which Danny helps Rafe pass the eye test they meet Evelyn, a beautiful nurse. Rafe is immediately hooked and falling head-over heels in love with her. Anxious to make a difference to the war effort however Rafe volunteers to go and aid the RAF in Britain leaving Evelyn and Danny, who soon get posted to Pearl Harbor, behind promising to return swiftly.
Things don't go as planned though when Rafe is shot down in Britain and presumably killed. Doing his duty Danny visits Evelyn meaning simply to inform her of Rafe's disappearance, instead he ends up not only comforting her but finds himself falling for her too. Just as things begin to hot up between the pair Rafe returns but has very little time to explain the situation as all three are thrown head first into a day that will change their lives forever - December 7th 1941 - the attack on Pearl Harbor.
Pearl Harbor is quite simply a classic love story embedded into a sequence of events that complicates everything. The film is wonderfully shot and has outstanding visual effects throughout that really pull the audience right into the centre of the action making them not merely feel that they are watching the events unfold but that they are part of them. This atmosphere makes the film compelling viewing as the blasts, shots and explosion all seem almost too close for comfort.
Now when I first saw this film I was a big fan of Josh Hartnett and this film ensured that I remained such a fan. His plays his part as Danny superbly. He brings to the forefront a great sense of pride as well as strength, conviction and sorrow. He is also wonderfully matched by Kate Beckinsale who plays Evelyn, as the pair have a fantastic chemistry between them and really spark off one another. Beckinsale is also strong in her own role and doesn't resort to the damsel in distress sort of acting that many women in such films do. Amazingly she also has a great chemistry with Rafe played by Ben Affleck, which makes viewing pleasant. He himself also gives a strong performance as the enthusiastic and brave young pilot willing to give anything to save what he loves the most.
Despite its inaccuracies of which the histories boffins will tell you there are many this film really is a masterpiece. It tells an unforgettable tale of how the strength of the human spirit can prevail against all odds by highlighting a story of heroism, love and loss.
Many say, that this film had an awful amount of history wrong. That is true. So, my review will be on my opinion of the movie, not the historical relevance.
Though history is relevent in such a movie, as it is based on it, 'Pearl Harbor' is one of my favourites because simply of the film itself. The love story behind all the chaos, really baffled me, and inspiring it is with the 2 men's bravery, the misunderstandings and mistakes, the film had more than what I anticipated.
The one thing I love more than else, is the music. Hans Zimmer really pulled it off. The Soundtrack is one of the best I've heard, and the music, is so heavenly. What else but admiration and awe for such great sounds!
It was heart-crushing to see the battle (historically correct or not), and the fight between Rafe and Danny for Everlyn was extremely touching. The unfolding love story is just breath-taking and there is not one scene produced in this film that is disappointing. I loved every bit of the movie.
Following success directing action films such as The Rock, Bad Boys and Armageddon, Michael Bay turned his attention to war with this 2001 epic military action film that had the critics divided. At a near 3 hours long and starring an all star cast, it certainly entertains, but is it too long and how accurate is the history?
Set in and around the events of the bombing of Pearl Harbor by the Japanese in 1941, which brought the US into World War 2. Rafe and Danny are two pilots, best friends since they were kids, and enlisted into the forces as were most able Americans for the Second World War. The film follows the pair through their military careers as well as their personal lives and how they cross. It also follows the events of Pearl Harbor through the eyes of different characters.
The Cast and Performances
The two male leads in Rafe and Danny are played by Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett respectively. The two actors had enjoyed relative success up to this point, and their involvement in this film merely served to enhance their reputations. The pair work very well together and are very believable as best friends. The emotions the two actors emit are excellent. Brit Kate Beckinsale plays Evelyn, the nurse caught up with her emotions through the attack, and then follows an all star cast including Cuba Gooding Jr as a Petty Officer struggling in a racist navy, Alec Baldwin as the Colonel in charge of the piloted attack, and Jon Voight as the under pressure President Franklin D Roosevelt. The remainder of the cast also do very well, and there are notabnle performances from Tom Sizemore and Jennifer Garner.
Michael Bay has earnt himself an impressive reputation for special effects and the ability to deliver a blockbuster at the right time. What he has given us here in Pearl Harbor is an emotional rollercoaster with some fantastic action scenes. The acting is typical of a Bay film - lots of stars without ego getting in the way.
Criticism was levelled at this film from the off. Inaccuracies in history were cited by many survivors of the attack on Pearl Harbor, but I guess the important thing to remember here is that this is not meant to be an accurate portrayal of the attack, it is a romantic action film set around the time of the attack, and its events intermingle with Pearl Harbor. If you look beyond that, and ignore any potential historical inaccuracies, it is easier to enjoy.
However, there is one other issue, and that is the length of the film. At 3 hours or so long, I felt the need to take a break. I felt it unnecessary to make it so long. The essence of the story is good, and the way it all pans out is also impressive, but in terems of length, there is too much here and I actually found myself bored in places.
That having been said, I can quite honestly say I did enjoy the film. The tale is fantastic and the emotions really draw you in. There is enough of a good balance with the romance and the action to keep you on your toes as a viewer and not get bogged down in one or the other, and this is as much of a thumbs up to the cast as the crew of writers, director and producers. The special effects guys do a fantastic job, and I feel that this is the area that Michael Bay concentrates on the best - his eye for detail and the control shown by the special effects teams he emplys on his movies are always outstanding.
So, in conclusion, this is a great film with a lovely balance of romance and action, but even if you look beyond some historical inaccuracies and remember it is just a film, its length will probably be too much for you. I give it 4 stars - it would be 5 were it shorter.
A better title could have been chosen for this film as for someone that is looking to watch a film relating to the attacks on Pearl Harbor then they are going to feel a little bit decieved and disappointed as their is minimal information on this actual subject.
Pearl Harbor is a love story. When two pilots Rafe (Ben Affleck)and Danny (Josh Hartnett) are called up for medicals to make sure thay are fit to go to war, Rafe finds himself falling in love this the nurse (Kate Beckinsale) that is assessing whether he is fit enough. After several weeks of them going out together Rafe gets called to England where as all the others are seconded to Pearl Harbor. After a tearful reunion, Rafe goes to England and find himself constantly writing to Evelyn of how much he misses her, in which she returns the letters to the same effect.
Rafe gets called out urgently and in midst flight when his aircraft is hit, he finds himself unable to bail out of his aircraft and then crashes into the English Channel. It is assumed that Rafe is dead and Evelyn and his friend Danny are informed that he has died in action. The two grieve for their loss, however in time as Danny tries to comfort Evelyn, the two become closer together and start to form a relationship together.
When things couldn't get better for the pair of them, still missing Rafe but they now have each other, Rafe turns up at Pearl Harbor. Obviously he isn't dead, he managed to escape and was rescued by a French fishing boat. Thinking he can oick up where he left off, he realises that his best friend is now with Evelyn and feels betrayed, which turns into a war to Evelyn's heart.
I really liked Pearl Harbor, to be honest I didn't think it was going to be a love story but being female, we like these kind of things and I really liked it. The storyline was a bit over the top, however the performance that the cast made I felt were superb.
I can understand why a lot of people especially men didn't like this film, however i don't think it was made for them to enjoy it as much as us ladies at the end of the day. It kept me gripped even though it is quite a long film, I didn't want to miss any of it, however their were mixed emotions thoughout the whole of the film.
Great for the ladies but not for you guys!!
Hollywood has a habit of taking factual events and mixing it up with various fictitious events to stretch the story out. That we have so many historical events that would fill a 2 hour event film (and even a sequel at times) seems to elude them. And whereas they nearly got it right with Titanic, here its a very different story.
Lifelong friends Danny and Rafe had always dreamed of being fighter pilots. When Rafe volunteers to go overseas where war is ripping through Europe, he leaves behind his beautiful girlfriend Evelyn. Months later, his plane is shot down, and he is registered as missing in action. Danny breaks the bad news to his best friend's girlfriend, and the two of them form a friendship that eventually leads to love. However, when Rafe turns up alive, it throws the three of them into a love triangle that threatens to explode just when the Japanese attack Pearl Harbor. Its left to Rafe and Danny and a few other survivors to save whats left of the base and to salvage what is left of their friendships.
This is an overblown contrived film which could have shed an hour of its running time to stick to the facts. The lead up to the historical attacks is dreary and pointless. The characters are given extensive character expose which neither ingratiates them to the audience, or allows their relationships to develop. Despite Rafe and Evelyn flirting for much of the early film, they actually only get together the night before he leaves for Europe. In fact, Danny and Evelyn's relationship has far more depth, yet that is relegated to second place on Rafe's return.
Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay are reknowned for this sort of big budget disaster flick. Both men have famously been involved in such blockbusters as Pirates Of The Caribbean, Black Hawk Down, Enemy Of The State, Armageddon, The Rock and Con Air, so he's no stranger to the summer blockbuster. Typically, they turn in spectacular visuals, and the special effects really are excellent, especially in the sequences that kick off the Harbor attack.
Where Bay/Bruckheimer nearly always get it wrong though is in the American-ness of it all. Everybody in America is a hero, whilst the rest of the world is its enemy and nearly always the bad guy. Its a one dimensional potrayal of the attacks that really just suggest that America were innocent by-standers who were no threat to the Japanese or indeed, the war. Not knowing the full history of the Harbor attack, I couldn't argue the politics of it, but having seen enough of these disaster-type films from Hollywood, I know that what we see on film rarely represents the truth.
The performances are adept. Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett and Kate Beckinsdale all look good for what its worth, but they are so true to type that its nearly painful to watch. Hartnett gets the most to work with, going through the gauntlet of emotions a person would go through when they fall in love with their dead best friends girlfriend, then the guilt at having betrayed him when discovering he wasn't nearly as dead as they first thought. Affleck is at his wisecracking best, but his is a two dimensional character who just wants to be a hero. Its a pity that in 183 minutes of film, they get so little of depth to do in their roles, due to the fact that the film doesn't know whether its a love story or a disaster film. Supporting roles for Cuba Gooding Jnr, Alec Baldwin and Tom Sizemore are enjoyable, but serve only as a backdrop to the leads and their big love story.
When the action finally does get underway, its big, loud and excessive. Perhaps thats exactly how it should be. More of this and less of the love triange would certainly have been in the films best interest. As it is, the action comes too far in, and then drags on long after your patience has wore thin. By the time the whole thing has ended, I had tired of the love story, the Harbor attacks, the all-american heroism, and certainly the liberties that were taken with the plot lines. I dont expect much from this type of film, but was it too much to ask that it either be in one direction or the other. As epics go, its turgid and depressing. And as disaster films go, its still turgid and depressing.