Set during the time of the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor, two childhood friends are caught up in the events that draw the United States into World War II. Together, they enlist in the US Air Force and soon enough they both become involved with the same woman.
By the time the Japanese bombers show up, more than an hour into this noisy, incoherent action-romance, you may feel something like relief. At least all the explosions will drown out the ear-splitting score and the mind-numbing dialogue. And, it should be said, the aerial combat sequences are vivid and impressive. But rarely has a movie so technically proficient been so conceptually bankrupt. Kate Beckinsale, Ben Affleck and Josh Hartnett -- playing two American pilots and a nurse embroiled in a nonsensical love triangle -- do what they can with the thudding, expository
script, but the film, for all its bloat and bombast, can barely manage a single moment of genuine feeling. Resist the hype. Save your money. Rent "From Here to Eternity." -- A.O. Scott
2001-05-25 | A. O. Scott | Read the New York Times Review of Pearl Harbor