December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked the United States naval base
at Pearl Harbor to push America into the raging World War II. Disney,
along with director Michael Bay ("Armageddon," "The
Rock"), team up to help us re-live this sequence of events in
U.S. History. Unfortunately, they tied in a storyline that is all too
predictable, and sometimes boring.
three-hour saga contains only about 45 minutes of screen time
dedicated to the actual Japanese attack. The other two-plus hours
could have been left on the cutting room floor. Without spoiling the
film, I can tell you that the bombing of Pearl Harbor is surrounded
by a frustrating love triangle. This love triangle is so frustrating
because of the film's predictability--the average moviegoer can
easily figure out what will happen at each turn in the love story.
film was not entirely horrible. The overall acting was pretty good,
considering the actors and actresses could only recite the lines
given to them in the script. Ben Affleck ("Boiler Room,"
"Reindeer Games") and Josh Hartlett ("40 Days & 40
Nights") play best friends and U.S. Army fighter pilots who have
known each other practically their entire lives. The characters are
not as flawed as the story. You find yourself liking both guys
throughout the entire movie, and you wish nothing but the best for
to r) Josh Hartlett and Ben Affleck star in Disney/Touchstone's
Beckinsale ("The Last Days of Disco") plays the beautiful
nurse that both Affleck and Hartlett love. This causes the tension in
the frustrating storyline. Jon Voight ("Varsity Blues,"
"Noah's Ark") as Franklin Delino Roosevelt is brilliant
portraying the President in one of America's most trying times. Alec
Baldwin ("Nuremberg," "State & Main") plays
Colonel Doolittle, using his regular, egotistical, raspy voice. Cuba
Gooding Jr. plays a simple Navy cook, who is good with his fists, and
ends up being a battle-day hero. Dan Akroyd is cast as the Naval
Intelligence officer in Washington, D.C. who saw the imminent
Japanese attack coming weeks ahead of time.
the cast is wonderful. The historical accounts are depicted well and
leave us on the edge of our seats. But the love story ruined it for
me. If you want a love story, rent "You've Got Mail." If
you want a war story rent "Saving Private Ryan."
this film in the theaters because the big screen and Dolby Surround
Sound is wonderful for the attack scenes. But you might also want to
wait until "Pearl Harbor" is showing at the $1.50 discount
theater instead of paying full price.
film is rated PG-13 due to combat style violence and mild sexual
innuendoes. The film gets 3.5 stars out of 5 because I am a generous
guy, and many scenes in the film were good.
by David Fago