Originally created 12/04/01

'Pearl Harbor' is big-budget mess



Pearl Harbor, one of the most hyped movies of the summer, is coming out on video and DVD today in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the actual event on Friday. I, for one, will not buy or rent it.

I remember hearing about this movie when it was in early production and thinking "Oh, good! A movie about an important point in America's history!" Then I found out that it was a love story.

I decided to see it anyway because the special effects were supposed to be great. I almost fell asleep in the long "year" before the Pearl Harbor attack. There was so much love and sappiness, I almost got cavities - and not from the Milk Duds I had.

The story goes like this: Two best friends from childhood, Danny (Josh Hartnett) and Rafe (Ben Affleck), enlist in the Army Air Corps. Rafe falls in love with Evelyn (Kate Beckensale), an Army nurse. He ends up flying for the Royal Air Force while Danny and Evelyn are transferred to Pearl Harbor. Rafe's plane goes down, and he is presumed dead.

Danny and Evelyn fall in love. Lo and behold, Rafe is not dead. He comes back, and the movie chronicles what happens to the three of them through Pearl Harbor and Jimmy Doolittle's air raid on Japan.

The Pearl Harbor attack visuals were great. They were action-packed and fast-paced. But when the attack ended, I looked at my watch and saw that only two hours had passed - a three-hour movie with a 40-minute attack sequence that was supposed to be the focus of the movie.

It launched back into the love story ... and more fighting from the Doolittle raid, but, of course, not enough for my taste.

In my opinion, this movie bombed like the Japanese planes on Pearl Harbor. It bombed hard and quick. First, it started a year before the Pearl Harbor attack. I can see taking some of this time to set up the love story that shouldn't have happened anyway, but I think that time period was still a little long. Another thing: if you're going to name a movie Pearl Harbor, concentrate on that attack for more than 40 minutes.

This movie was a hard-core chick flick. Too much love and not enough war was its problem. Next time they attempt to make a Pearl Harbor movie (a good one, such as Tora! Tora! Tora!), they should keep the love out of it, stick to the facts and try to inform the public what really happened that fateful Sunday morning sixty years ago. The veterans of Pearl Harbor and World War II deserve that, not some fluffy love story that never happened.

Teen board member Allison Young, 16, thanks and respects all veterans and active soldiers of past and present wars for their courage and dedication to this country.,