Customer Review

123 of 135 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Underneath the hype machine there is an enjoyable series, 15 Nov 2010
This review is from: The Pacific - Complete HBO Series (Tin Box Edition) [DVD] [2010] (DVD)
Some may argue it is unfair to compare The Pacific to Band of Brothers, however given it is another WW2 drama miniseries produced by a Spielberg & Hanks dream team in exactly the same format I think they should be contrasted.

Although I am the patient type The Pacific is a very slow starter, this wouldn't matter if the acting was up to the standards of the pyrotechnics and special effects, but it isn't in many places. Of the main characters, Jon Seda who plays John Basilone is the stand-out performance whereas the likes of Robert Leckie (played by James Badge Dale) are unconvincing and some of the romantic scenes with him are cringe worthy. It is true that overall the acting is a far cry from Band of Brothers and I am unsure as to why this is. With the exception of John Basilone, character development is patchy and thus it is difficult to empathise with their story. In addition, I couldn't help but notice the similarity between Basilone's story and that of the characters in Flags of our Flathers i.e. paraded as a war hero and used as a poster-boy to encourage Americans' contribution towards the war economy. But in reality he is left with feelings of guilt as he sits it out cosily while his comrades continue the fight.

The Pacific still is an absorbing and enjoyable experience and admittedly it could never live up to the hype machine surrounding it. The production values are what is expected of a Spielberg behemoth and the battle scenes are highly impressive, although not quite as intense or brutal as Saving Private Ryan or Assembly, to name just two. But after each episode I was expecting the The Pacific to take off, but alas it never actually does. I just can't help but feel it could have been so much more, especially given the $150 million budget and every resource under the sun available to them.

I appreciate The Pacific is a different approach to WW2 drama, focusing more on the events and story rather than the characters, however it feels stuck in second gear for most of the time and only occasionally moves up to third. Just my opinion at the end of the day but I was left rather dissatisfied and unfulfilled.
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Tracked by 4 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Nov 2010 12:44:51 GMT
D. Hoyle says:
Spot on with this review. You can't knock the production values of this series, they are amazing. However it never gets into full stride and it can leave you feeling quite agitated.

Not as good as Band of Brothers but it is nevertheless well worth watching.

Posted on 1 Dec 2010 23:35:03 GMT
A. Kennedy says:
agreed! your so right

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Dec 2010 13:12:45 GMT
J. N. Bailey says:
Yep, agree with just seems to lack something really....obviously its realistic, but never seems to get going, perhaps because there is too much switching between the characters...

Posted on 12 Dec 2010 12:59:16 GMT
plumberman says:
Umm I agree with this review. the pacific disconnects you as a viewer and the story seems to get lost at times unlike band of brothers that draws you in and makes you feel you are part of the band almost, and is far more absorbing

Posted on 14 Dec 2010 18:10:17 GMT
R. Hawes says:
I think the review and some of the comments show a lack of understanding as to the differences between the American campaign in Europe and the American campaign in the Pacific. The Pacific campaign was fragmented in nature, due to the vast areas of ocean separating the American objectives. Many of the battles were horribly bloody battles 'in minature', nothing like most of the fighting in Europe.

I think when the reviewer talks about the series never quite taking off, it probably felt a bit like this for the US soldiers in the Pacific for the long periods as they made their way by boat to the next objective.

I think the fragmented feel actually adds to the realism and success of the series.

In reply to an earlier post on 14 Dec 2010 18:39:55 GMT
Joe Langton says:
I don't think it's a case of misunderstanding, many viewers (including myself) are extremely interested in the Pacific campaign itself, hence one of the reasons why I actually watched it. I don't know if the fragmented feel of the series is deliberate (cue someone saying it's genius) or whether it was mere coincidence? For me and many others it makes for a rather mixed experience but for you perhaps it adds to the realism, it's down to personal opinion at the end of the day.

Posted on 21 Dec 2010 00:22:54 GMT
Josephine says:
I don't think that a disjointed storyline can be confused with the reality of Pacific war being fragmented. The point many are making is that the episodes don't form an arc of a story and without this it's poor drama no matter how apparently realistic each scene is. I definiteely felt that this series was much inferior to Band of Brothers because that series did have a story, and also the characters were more rounded and better portrayed by the actors.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Feb 2011 03:32:09 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 10 Feb 2011 03:45:25 GMT]

Posted on 22 Apr 2011 01:40:00 BDT
I know what it missed. The training episode of B of B. This first episode introduced us to the characters, and we ended up caring for them. Plus- and this is something totally overlooked by most film makers- you gotta have characters who LOOK different. They all look the same in The Pacific, so it wasn't until like episode 3 that I knew who was who! This was a big drawback in my opinion and the reason I'm pretty cold towards it.

Posted on 1 May 2011 09:04:39 BDT
"however it feels stuck in second gear for most of the time and only occasionaly moves up to third". Absolutely, that's exactly what I thought watching it. I think I'll give the series a second watch though
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