Director Michael Bay once again brings us another a badly written, but exciting war movie depicting the events of the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. This war story begins with two childhood friends, Rafe (Ben Affleck) and Danny (Josh Hartnett) joining the Army Air Corps and meeting Evelyn (Kate Beckinsale), a Navy nurse. Rafe falls head over heels for Evelyn and begins dating her. He eventually volunteers to fight in Britain, while Danny and Evelyn are transferred to Pearl Harbor. Soon they get word that Rafe's fighter plane was shot down and he is presumed dead. Danny tries to console Evelyn and months later they've grown closer, romantically. Low and behold, Rafe is not dead, he comes to Pearl Harbor and finds his best friend dating his girl. The two must put aside their differences when a surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor begins.
What Worked - To start off with Jon Voght who playing President Roosevelt was a delight to watch. He was very well cast and his strong performance made me want to discover more about President Roosevelt. There is a wonderful scene when President Roosevelt is trying to convince his Defense Cabinet that we need to retaliate immediately. His Defense Cabinet feels it's too big a risk and impossible. To which Pres. Roosevelt struggles out of his wheelchair, standing to his feet saying, "don't tell me it can't be done". Great job, Jon Voght for inspiring me. The music composed by Hans Zimmer is once again masterfully performed. It betrays romance, sadness and glory seamlessly. It really helps all the scenes play out well. The movie also builds up great anticipation for the surprise attack. Don't even get me started on the attack. Biscuits and gravy, it's amazing! If there's is one thing Micheal Bay knows how to do, it's how to shoot action sequences. There's a wonderful scene where we follow a bomb as it drops from one of the fighter planes and hits a ship. It still takes my breath away. The scenes that take place in the hospital with Evelyn and other nurses trying to control the chaos of the attack are also riveting. Maybe it's because I'm a huge fan of ER.
What Didn't Work - Holy fish tanks, this movie is way too long. At a running time of two hours and 45 min. this definitely is not the longest movie I've ever seen, but why does feel so long? It's probably because there are a lot of unnecessary scenes that really drag it out. In the very beginning of the movie, we have to suffer through about a five-minute scene introducing us to the two main character as kids. I feel that was very unnecessary to the movie. Then after the attack on Pearl Harbor, we have to suffer through another 45 min. of America getting revenge on Japan. It was interesting, but not enough to keep my attention the whole time. It should have been severely cut down in the editing room.
Overall - This is one of Michael Bay's better films. If there's one reason to watch this movie, it's for the attack scenes. While the script is anything but glorious, it is still a good flick. I would highly recommend this as a rental.
A quote from movie:
Admiral Yamamoto - A brilliant man would find a way not to fight a war.
So what did you think of Michael Bay's film?
Blu-ray DVD Soundtrack