(Review originally written at 27 November 2002)

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The movie tries too hard to be like "Titanic" and uses all the ingredients that are used in "Titanic" but "Pearl Harbor" fails...

The biggest problem with this movie is that the film makers can't seem to decide what for a movie they wanted to make: A spectacular one or a realistic one, with as a result that the realistic/shocking scene's in the movie just don't work in the way they should.

The actors only seems to have been cast because of their looks instead of their acting skills. Especially the nurses look unrealistic beautiful complete with make-up and hair style.

And then the love story...well what can I say, the love story just doesn't work for me and is over the top at some points ***SPOILER***for instance when Evelyn (Kate Beckinsale) finds out she is pregnant, that just seemed so over the top and out of place that I almost stopped watching the movie at that point***SPOILER*** You can say that the love story kind of ruins the movie at some points.

The character are not interesting enough due to poor character development and I wondered lot's of times throughout the movie: "Why are we following this characters ??? What makes them so interesting to follow ???"

In my opinion the movie should have focused more on the political aspects of Pearl Harbor and the leaders, like Roosevelt (Jon Voight) and the attack itself instead of Rafe and Danny (Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett) and their friendship and problems.

Another thing that bothered me is the Cuba Gooding Jr. character. The character is just pointless and it's only distracting and seem so out of place. The only reason I can think of why they had put them in the movie is because it's a political correct character to put in a movie.

One more thing before I'll mention the things I liked about the movie. The movie makes an huge mistake to not stop after the attack on Pearl Harbor. The movie goes on and follows the Doolittle raid on Japan. This is absolutely pointless and I think that an alternate ending should had been made.

The things I liked: First of all, I thought all the Roosevelt (Jon Voight) scene's were fantastic. Secondly Alec Baldwin played in my opinion a great role as Lt. Colonel James 'Jimmy' Doolittle.

Some more things that I liked are: The camera work (although it was VERY over the top), the editing (the movie has a good quick pace), the music by Hans Zimmer and the attack on Pearl Harbor itself was made beautifully.

I don't mean to bash the movie too hard, but it just isn't good enough. If you want to see a good spectacular/realistic war movie you should watch "Black Hawk Down" instead and if you want to see a good realistic war movie you should watch "Saving Private Ryan". Only watch this movie for the special effects and when you have nothing else to do, you might even like it (I know that some people just love this movie).


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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