Pearl Harbor

By Mark Ramsey | 2001/05/23

Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor has balls. Any movie that casts Dan Ackroyd as the Cone-Head of Naval Intelligence and wonders why a nation falls victim to a surprise attack should immediately screen Doctor Detroit and My Girl 2. Hello!!

Hey, guess what, there’s a WAR in this love story! What’s that doing there?

And it’s no ordinary romantic coupling, folks, it’s a love triangle – boy meets girl meets boy’s friend. That’s the perfect kind of wartime relationship, sister, since it doubles the odds you’ll still have a fella when the smoke clears!


Look out young lovers, It seems your triangle is really a giant bulls-eye! Fortunately, while the Japanese Empire may have a bomb that pierces armor, no bomb is likely to muss the steel-plated hull of Ben Affleck’s cowlick, reinforced as it is with titanium alloy blonde highlights! Uncle Sam wants a top-notch stylist! On the double!

Ben “Get me into a damn plane” Affleck wears his Army cap at a macho angle – not because he prefers it, but because it fits better in the demilitarized zone between an impetuous cowlick and the reckless point on the top of his head nicknamed “Montgomery Clift.” Carry on, Ben.

Josh Hartnett is Ben’s boyhood buddy. Despite there being oodles of available women in This Man’s Army, Josh homes in on Ben’s babe, Kate Beckinsale, a nurse with the rubiest red lips you’ve ever seen and complete instructions on how to use them.

Romance blooms between Josh and Kate when he takes her streaking through the sky in his plane at sunset. Hey if every flyboy did this the air would be filled with babe-magnets and we’d be completely defenseless until dusk! What’s that exploding around us, passion or flak?

Look for a special appearance by extreme hottie model-of-the-moment James King who hooks up with a dorky stutterer in what can only be described as the least believable special effect of this movie. I think Pearl Harbor is more likely to be attacked by Origami swans than James King is apt to hang with this doofus!

Jon Voight appears as President Franklin Roosevelt – he’s wearing more makeup than a Panzer division of Faye Dunaways, but without the military industrial diva complex. Awesome portrayal, Jon!

pearlharbor_lay.jpgt’s a peaceful Sunday morning when all Hell breaks loose. In roar attacking Japanese aircraft, spraying bombs like confetti.

Where were our defenses? At this stage of the game, it seems, RADAR was little more than a Dar with Rays coming out of it. “That’s too big to be planes, right?” said the ignorant RADAR operator. “Nah, it’s more likely a fleet of angry jujubes flying in formation!”

Tragedy strikes when a record number of good looking young Americans are killed all at once. Fortunately, the first attack wave spares all the Beautiful People. In fact, Kate Beckinsale pretty much sleeps through the destruction of half the Pacific Fleet! Only after the second wave are the good lookers dropping like flies, albeit flies with superior head shots and greatly increased asking prices.

Whoops! All the battleships are lined up in bomb-friendly little rows as Sparks, the radio guy, taps out a nya-nya nya-nya-nya on the telegraph to the Japanese high command. Bad Sparks! Bad!

There’s a war on, boys, and hundreds of Japanese Zeros are circling overhead. Can Ben and Josh take to the air and single-handedly smite seven smarmy enemy flyboys? Jeepers, creepers, yes!

Are Ben and Josh ever going to be anywhere but wherever the center of wartime action is? Not if Ben’s blonde highlights have anything to say about it, buster!

I loved Pearl Harbor. What a marvelous tribute to those who perished in the battle and all who served our country in World War II. This tragedy was, after all, a seminal event in America’s history – and I don’t mean that in a dirty way.

I know a man. He was fishing in upstate New York when the bombs rained on Pearl. Like many of his peers he joined the fight and took to the air. Today, he’s addled by age and confined to two wheels. The hands that gripped the throttle and ripped the sky can now raise a cup just barely. This recipient of two Purple Hearts, this hero of the sky. His Navy buddies called him “Red.”

To me, he’s Dad.

Bravo Zulu, Pearl Harbor!

Photos Copyright ©2001 Touchstone Pictures


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