Mostly, it was innocuous in a thoroughly Hollywood way. Which is to say, it truly is (as Disney hyped) a love story, framed around the attack, which is really just a plot device and an excuse for typical Brushier explosions and fireballs. The film is not about the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. In fact, with more than 45 minutes left after the attack, the rest of the film takes a long denouement or detour, depending n your expectations, following the April 1942 propaganda bombing mission over Japan by Cool.
Doolittle 8-25 bombers. This long ending accomplishes several things: It allows the love triangle the core of the story to be resolved nicely though tearfully; it allows the shock and anger and perhaps the hatred of the “sneak attack” to dissipate; and like the actual Doolittle raid itself, it allows the film’s viewers (at least in the US) to leave the theater on a syntactically upbeat note. “Yeah, we showed ‘me. How dare they bomb Pearl Harbor and decimate our fleet; we scared ‘me silly by dropping some bombs over Tokyo and some other cities then crashing into the Sea of Japan or China. We showed me. Can’t blame Hollywood for ending the film this way Hollywood is nothing if not the factory of happy endings, right? And maybe such a treatment will really help distract audiences from any racist tendencies they may have against Japanese, or Asians in general. But the fact of the matter is that the Japanese attackers in the film weren’t demonic at all. In a weird way, they were dismissed, almost faceless. Make, the veteran Japanese American actor with the craggy face, plays Admiral Hampton, one of the few Japanese speaking parts and the only Japanese character we get to know in the film.
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
The rest of the Japanese may as well be Martians for the attention producer Brushier and director Michael Bay pay them. Is that a good thing? It didn’t hurt the love story The one irritating thing about the film was the lack of Asian involvement throughout. It’s one thing for thespians to be generally faceless, but it’s downright weird to show lots of scenes of 1941 Honolulu and hardly have any Asian faces in the crowds, or working as servers. In one momentary scene a Japanese American doctor who is played by a Chinese American actor is brushed away by an injured soldier who refuses to be treated by a damn “Jape. There were no other Asian military, doctors, nurses or civilians in all of Honolulu, we are made to believe, except for a Japanese tourist who is a spy taking photos of the ships in Pearl Harbor, and a Japanese American dentist who gets a mysterious phone call in Japanese asking about the ships in the harbor outside his window. Although the CAL protested this dentist’s appearance in the film, the movie makes clear he is not a spy but just some unlucky Japanese-speaking soul who was called at random by the Japanese military for a last-minute look at the ships before the attack.
For anyone who cares, “Jape” was used only about a dozen times in the movie, and the use didn’t bother me. That is what the Japanese were called back then, after all. (l once interviewed a WI veteran who told me all about the “Saps” for an hour and then stopped to tell me he didn’t mean me when he used the term, he was talking about the soldiers he was fighting. Din t take Offense ?? too much. ) But there were no epithets used for the Germans that Raff, one corner of the love triangle, fought in his time flying with Britain’s Royal Air Force.
And in a somewhat bizarre twist, the “n-word” was never used once in the movie even though a subplot was the racism faced by African American soldiers and sailors of the day. In the scene that introduces Cuba Gooding Jar. As Dories Miller, the first black sailor to be awarded a Navy Cross, he’s boxing a white sailor with men around the ring shouting at both fighters. One of the white en yells out, “Show that cook what you got! ” or some other silly rubbish. A black sailor responds with, “Win this for all the cooks and kitchen hands! ” or some other weird line.
That’s what political correctness has gotten us a distortion of a history ripe with racism. The film mangles other historical facts, starting with the impossibility of a US Army pilot being allowed to volunteer to fly in the RAFF over Britain when the US hadn’t declared war against Germany. Hammock’s role is vastly simplified for the audiences’ consumption there is no sense of the doubt he felt at owning to war against the LOS (Hampton was educated at Harvard and knew this would likely united the US, not beat down Americans’ spirits).
It also completely ignores the internal tension within the Japanese high command, the literal tug-of-war between the Army’s segregationist policies and the navy’s reportedly peaceful tack (according to most histories and films such as “Tort! Tort! Tort! “). Most of the attack seems to have been treated with a fair amount of historical accuracy. So, at the end of it, I laughed, I cried, and I pretty much enjoyed the film as a Hollywood blockbuster movie, and nothing else. Will it inflame racism against Asians? Only in people who probably hate us already anyway.
Is it a good movie? Not really. It is mostly like “Titanic” in both feel and effect. Is it a bad movie? Only for film buffs and critics. Don’t be scared of it see it for yourself and then decide. Subject: Re: “Pearl Harbor” Movie Reaction > Don’t be scared of ["Pearl Harbor”) see it for yourself and then > decide. Thanks for the reassuring words. (a sansei) doubt Will go see it, for no better reason than it just doesn’t sound like a movie would be interested in along with "Titanic” and other Hollywood blockbusters).
There was a review in our local paper that said something to the effect of”. The Japanese launch a surprise attack on an American love triangle. ” Other critics have said that it is too long, and the leading lady is weak. Did anyone else see Jay Leno’s "Skyjacking” street interview segment on "The Tonight Show”? Some people thought the Pearl Harbor attack was a Chinese invasion of Hawaii. Others thought WWW took place during the asses. Don’t know if people just make up absurd answers to these questions, or if Americans really are that stupid. Not sure if it is because May is Asian American Heritage Month, or because of the release of "Pearl Harbor” that there have been lots of WWW- related programs on TV. One program described the battle in the Aleutian islands, from the viewpoints of both American and Japanese soldiers (and how absurd it was on both sides). Caught part of a documentary on the Military Intelligence Service, too. I think it is a good thing that we are finally starting to hear more stories with a human element to them. I am learning that it is not just the Nisei that were silent, but many other WWW veterans, as well.