Slumpy - Right-On Film Reviews

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Pearl Harbour (2001)

In 7 words or less: War movie with added love story

What's it all About? Set at the start of WWII, a couple of young hotshot pilots enlist in the airforce but things turn sour when Rafe (Alfleck) volunteers to go overseas and help fight in the Battle of Britain. When news reaches the States that Rafe has been shot down, the love of his life Evelyn (Beckinsale) falls into the arms of Rafe's best friend Danny (Hartnett). Oops. After the Japanese launch a sneak attack on the Hawaiian US naval base in Pearl Harbour, America  officially enters WWII.

Best bits? The dogfights are very well done with some great sequences of aerial combat.

Did it make you think thoughts? Yeah, never listen to the Mrs. I'd never seen this before as I had heard it was rubbish but my better half (cough, cough) convinced me it would make good Sunday evening viewing. The first hour is filled with so much cheese I felt like I had enough calcium to last a lifetime. Once the action kicks in, things pick up a bit but the whole Cuba Gooding Jr shtick fees like a tacked on way to show that African Americans played their part in the war effort. Unfortunately it comes across as clumsy and hamfisted. 
Run Affleck, run
Whilst watching it struck me how similar this was to The Dark Knight. Both films have a perfect end point, the Joker/Batman showdown, and here it is the bombing of Pearl Harbour. It's a shame then that both films add on a third act that overpowers the natural ending and thus is a big anticlimax. In this case it's the B-25 bombers flying to Tokyo on a reveng mission. It's all a bit heavy on the US war effort propaganda. 'You bombed our military base you dirty foreigners. We bombed your city full of civilians. We're heroes.' Ugh.

Luckily I had my laptop on showing some American football playoff action as well as a juicy rump steak accompanied by curly fries, onion rings and some buttered peas to soften the blow of this hamfest. Top draw. 

Would you watch it again? No

Rating (out of 100%): Too long, too much schmultz, too much bad acting and script. I give Pearl Harbour a don't-waste-your-time 30%
Worse than: Top Gun (1986)
Better than: Being in WWII

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