"Pearl Harbor" sucks, but not as bad as it should

by Eric Melin on May 25, 2001

in Print Reviews

I was prepared for this one to suck, and it did. But it didn’t suck as bad as I thought it would.

Now, in all fairness to you, here is a guide of things to expect to suck about “Pearl Harbor,” so that you too can have a decent time watching the movie. Because if you’re expecting these problems, then maybe you’ll be prepared to enjoy the good things about this overblown, overhyped Hollywood must-see summer flick.

1) It’s too damn long. 3 hours. And, unlike “Braveheart,” it can’t support the running time.

2) It starts real slow, mirroring the pace of life at this time. Ben Affleck has some funny/cheesy scenes, and the set design looks great. I don’t mind slow movies as much as most people I know, so this didn’t kill me, but be warned.

3) There’s lots of pro-USA, flag-waving dialogue and lame one-liners. Duh. If you didn’t know to prepare for that, don’t even bother going, dummy.

4) It doesn’t end with the bombing of Pearl Harbor. It should have, but you can’t conclude a $100+ million blockbuster with the U.S. getting utterly decimated in a battle, apparently. I would’ve preferred it, and even saw a way to wrap it up there, but this is a Michael Bay film.

5) The “love triangle” that makes up the central plot of the film is even shakier than “Titanic’s” romance. So if you didn’t like “Titanic,” (I did) keeping this in mind may even keep you away.

Knowing all these things ahead of time helped me concentrate on the good parts of “Pearl Harbor,” namely the incredibly huge bombing sequence, and the look and feel of the period. Plus, Kate Beckinsale is hot, and I think Ben Affleck is pretty cool. Am I too easy on this one? Perhaps. All I can say is: Be prepared if you must watch it and maybe you can be too.

Eric is the Editor-in-Chief of Scene-Stealers.com and writes the Screen Stealers column for The Pitch. He’s President of the KCFCC, and drummer for The Dead Girls and Ultimate Fakebook. He is also Air Guitar World Champion Mean Melin. Eric goes to 11. Follow him at:

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