So it’s about that time of year again… What, the holiday season? No, not that. It’s been 75 years since the Day of Infamy,
24 years since my birth, and 15 years since the movie Pearl Harbor was released. So how does the film hold up? It doesn’t. Here’s a summary of it.
The movie Pearl Harbor is not about Pearl Harbor, but rather a love triangle involving two pilots, and a nurse. Rafe, Danny, and Evelyn, respectively. Rafe, and Danny are childhood friends who both became pilots. Rafe and Evelyn fall in love, but then Rafe goes and fights with the RAF in Europe, because obviously this didn’t violate the American neutrality acts, and proceeds to get himself shot down. Believed by all to be dead, Danny and Evelyn get involved with each other as they fall for each other by means of having a shared lost one. As it turns out, Rafe is alive and well, and he’s back. Unfortunately for him, Danny and Evelyn are a thing now, so he handles it in a understanding and mature fashion. That is to say he behave passive aggressively before engaging in a fist fight. Fantastic. This fight turns into a brawl, where eventually the military police show up, and amusingly enough Rafe, and Danny get away together where they actually manage to communicate like human beings.
Along the way we get some build up to the actual attack, as well as the somewhat charming tale of how Rafe and Evelyn became a thing. Also President Roosevelt shows up here and there to insist on going to war. After an hour and 45 minutes or so, the attack begins, it turns out be a mixed bag of aerial destruction, hospital panic, sailors drowning, and our two pilots making their way to a airway, where they manage to take off and shoot a few planes down. Everyone dies, and the movie ends. Just kidding.
The movie goes on to the Doolittle raid, which includes our two main pilots training to fly bombers off of carriers, before finally actually carrying it out. Then of course, more explosions, and more death. This time around though it goes by much faster. Also somehow Evelyn tuned in to a live stream of their radio communications cause the technology back then was just as good as it is now obviously. So the Doolittle raid goes more or less according to plan, and they land in China, where they’re greeted by a Japanese patrol. Fighting happens, Danny dies. Rafe goes back, then it’s happily ever after.
Pearl Harbor is a movie laced with historical inaccuracies, to the point where the only thing accurate about it is the fact that the attack on Pearl Harbor, and the Doolittle raid happened. Okay, that’s somewhat exaggerated, but nevertheless it is highly inaccurate to the point it is laughable. If you are ignorant of the time period, or turn off your brain you may find some enjoyment from the film.
NOW FOR SOME MILD
POINTLESS NITPICKING FUN:
- Mentioned it earlier but here it is again; Rafe fighting for the RAF while being in the US Air force would be a violation of American neutrality and quite simply was not a thing that happened.
- A fighter pilot fighting in the Battle of Britain, Pearl Harbor, and the Doolitle Raid is not true of any pilot, specially considering the Doolittle Raids were bombers, and not fighters.
- 8 planes managed to take off during the attack on Pearl Harbor, rather than 2.
- Roosevelt stands up to make a point about doing the impossible, it’s played for dramatic effect, but comes off as humorous, considering that really wouldn’t have been possible at all.
- The lines “God help anyone who goes to war with America” and “I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve” are fantastic because I didn’t realize America won the war. I learned a lot by watching this movie. HAHAAHAAAA. No.
- Rafe and Danny pull a stunt in training, which they use to down several Zeros, for maximum eye roll. Why do movies always do this kind of thing? Seriously.
- There’s this general message in this film which is all like “AMERICAS GONNA WIN CAUSE EVERYONE’S GONNA VOLUNTEER TO GO TO WAR” which was very apparent and annoying every time it reared its head.
- So they forgo tons of historical facts, but decided they’re plop in the word”Jap?” Good job. Thanks.