Pearl Harbor (2001) – Encore Review


“There’s nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer” – Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle

Number of Times Seen – at least 3 times (1 May 2002 in the theater, 20 Oct 2013 and 21 Dec 2019)

Link to original reviewHere

Brief Synopsis – Two best friends join the Air Force before the US enters World War II and their lives are forever changed by the events of the Japanese Attack on Pearl Harbor.

My Take on it – This is a movie that gets too much bad press and has always been enjoyable for me ever since I first saw it in the theater 18+ years ago.

The film is able to give us some very compelling action scenes while also telling a very poignant history lesson at the same time.

The cast is great and Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett and Kate Beckinsale all have amazing chemistry throughout which helps make things feel so genuine and realistic.

Th cinematography is exceptional and the battle scenes are presented in a way that the viewer feels as if they are right there as these characters are under attack.

The battle scenes are quite graphic and explicit which adds so much to the realism of it all.

The story is able to combine fact and fiction quite seamlessly and it comes across in a way that makes us believe that these characters were really there.

The film has a 3 hour run time and it works really well to help establish and develop these characters really well and this helps make the viewer feel as if they know them on a very personal level as things move along.

The film has a very powerful musical score that helps enhance the feel of the film both from a romantic and an action aspect.

The film’s theme song There You’ll Be was deservingly nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song even if it didn’t manage to win.

Check it out here:

The film does a wonderful job showing the contrast in the way of life of these characters both before and after the outbreak of World War II and these conflicting viewpoints helps the viewer see the way that the word changed right before the eyes of these characters as they needed to deal with some very powerful experiences along the way.

Bottom Line – Great action movie that also serves as a poignant history lesson. Affleck, Hartnett and Beckinsale are all superb together and make us really believe these characters. The action scenes are superbly shot and they give the viewer the feel as if they are right there during some very tense and graphic battle scenes. The story plays out really well and helps make things feel realistic as they combine both fact and fiction. The run time of 3 hours works really well in helping establish these characters and they are all developed really well along the way. The musical score is quite intense and enhances the story so much.  The theme song “There You’ll Be” was deservingly nominated for an Oscar even if it didn’t manage to win.  Love the way that this film finds a way to how the contrast of how the characters see both themselves and the world they live in from various viewpoints as the story moves along and they see the world changing before their eyes.  Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – For the scenes of the Japanese planes taking off, an American carrier was used. According to Michael Bay, this greatly offended some of the Pearl Harbor survivors, who felt it dishonored the dead. Bay, however, pointed out to them that they destroyed all of the Japanese carriers later in the war, so an American carrier had to be used. He says that when he pointed this out, they agreed to the use of the American carrier. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10) (no change from original review)

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One thought on “Pearl Harbor (2001) – Encore Review

  1. Pingback: Temporal Top Ten – 2001 | MovieRob

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