Originally reviewed May, 2001
Last May, we had Gladiator. This May, we have Pearl Harbor. Is this fair?
I don’t really know what to say about Pearl Harbor, because everything I could possibly say about it I’ve said in a review of some other film, because EVERYTHING that’s in Pearl Harbor I’ve SEEN in another film! Let me put it this way: if you are looking for a crash course in film cliches, look no further. You’ve got them all in one slick, handsome package. I couldn’t even name them all if I tried. Not only film cliches, but you’ve got pretty much all of mainstream movies here too. Didn’t see Top Gun? Well, don’t worry, that one is in here. Didn’t see Titanic? Well, they sink a ship in this one too, so don’t fret. Missed Armaggeddon? Well, the cheesy love story is here, and Ben Affleck is thrown in for good measure just in case. Let’s see, any others? Well, I would try to find some cheesy war movie, but every war movie I’ve ever seen was better than this, so I don’t dare to insult any particular one.
If you’re expecting a history lesson, forget it. If you’re expecting some great effects and a realistic re-creation of an amazing moment in American military history, well, be prepared to wait over an hour before any action even starts. If you’re expecting to see just one unique thing in this entire picture, then save your hard-earned money. Jerry Bruckheimer doesn’t deserve it.
But let’s admit it, Pearl Harbor is just what we expect from Hollywood at summer time. Gladiator last year was an anomaly. Gladiator was cruel because it offered us a glimmer of hope that a big budget summer Hollywood action flick could have a soul, but now, in 2001, we’re back to the way summer should be. Mindless.
I should’ve seen Shrek.
My rating: no stars (see something ELSE, please!)