Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor, 2001 film starring  Ben Affleck, Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett and Alec Baldwin.  Visually stunning recreation of the day that went down in infamy.

This film follows two life long friends, Rafe (Affleck) and Danny (Hartnett) who become pilots together before the United States entered World War Two.  Complications arise when they both fall for the same woman then further complications when Pearl Harbor is attacked.

Really there are two stories going on here, one historically interesting and the other a so so romance.  Personally, I didn’t care about the romance story that was going on during the film, though they were fighting over Beckinsale  (who wouldn’t).    I enjoyed the recreation of the Pearl Harbor attack.

For me the film became an awesome one at about 1 hour and twenty minutes in when the morning of December 7th began.  There were some scenes prior to this that showed how the military figured out what was happening, though to late.  The next hour or so was spectacular and very historically accurate.

Was it an accurate recreation?  I did some fact checking and yes, much of what we saw was real and did happen.  From the planes attacking, the Japanese gunner waving to the kids playing ball to take cover to the torpedoes spinning past, underneath the floating survivors.  The CGI was mapped out perfectly and historically correct, the way the Japs came in, bombed their targets and in what order.  The attack scenes were so stunning it looked like we were really there.  They got the costumes period correct, the cars, the ships and the planes.  They must have spent a very long time researching the facts because I did not see too many errors.

I would have gone five out of five on this because it was so visually perfect but the story involving Affleck, Hartnett and Beckinsale was just so so.  I mean it was a good love story but predictable and not original.  It was inaccurate though when Rafe went off to England to fight.  Any active duty American’s were forbidden to volunteer elsewhere or fight for another country while in a pre-war state.  I’m sure they just put that in to give her a reason to believe that he was shot down and killed.

The best part of this film will always be the attack.  This was my third sitting for this film since it came out and I watch it again and again only for that reason.  Ignore the romance and concentrate on the history, I do and love it!