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12 people found this helpful
The worst kind of Hollywood cheese
on 21 December 2013
I have seen this film a few times and on each occasion I have been more disappointed by it. First, I agree with many reviewers who comment on how it relies far to too much on the CGI effects, which are technically quite good but, like a shoot-em-up computer game, CGI does not add convincingly to any sense of drama. Secondly, is it a war film or a complicated three way romance? But my real gripe with this film is that is tries to portray a couple of young boy-next-door Americans as heroes who were instrumental in almost every theatre of the war: The Battle of Britain, the attack on Pearl Harbour and the Doolittle raids.
The romance storyline adds very little, it is just a bit of tinseltown nonsense.
Worst line in the script "It looks like world war two has started!!" (For a reference to world war two you have to question what was world war one. I think at the time the previous event between 1914-18 was known as "The Great War", not world war one. A major conflict had already been going on in Europe and at sea for over two years. The USa supporting with aid, but was not a combatant. Added to that, Japan was already at war with and had invaded part of China)
This movie doesn't explain why the US was unprepared for the attack, or why it turned up late to deal with the evil Nazi forces in Europe. Going into more detail, it treats the incident where the black cook heroically downing a few planes almost as a comedy moment, but is there a race element here - was he just a cook before that because of racism (I don't know - but if that was true that could have been a relevant story).
Overall this movie does nothing to explain the circumstances, political and diplomatic issues leading up to the attack. It leaves me no wiser about why it happened. What was the Japanese agenda? What else happened, like the similar attack on Darwin two months later? I am not looking for a dry documentary, but good drama can be used to convey the history, hopes and fears and tragedy of war.