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Citizen Critique 

Pearl Harbor, reviewed by Bruce Hutton


Guns go off and bullets whiz by. Bombs explode in great Technicolor bursts. Airplanes dive and crash or save themselves at the last second. Ships hit by torpedoes buckle and implode, then turn over and sink with hundreds of screaming men clinging desperately to anything they can grab before they go under the oil-drenched, burning water already littered with the bodies of their comrades...


I'd have been satisfied with an hour or two of this, frankly, but the people who made Pearl Harbor felt they needed a plot, too, so they threw a dart at the Plot Board and came up with a love affair -- or better yet, a love TRIANGLE. Two handsome, cocky pilots fall in love with the same beautiful, independent woman, and she must choose between them. Actually she falls in love with one first, then he's supposedly killed in action so she falls in love with the other one, then the first guy comes back and now she's all confused.


Apparently the Japanese were as bored and fed up with this as I was, so just before she makes her choice, they launch a surprise attack on the naval base where the three are stationed: Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. There is some talk of oil embargoes and imperialism, but really we know the whole thing happened because the Japanese were offended that Hollywood turns out garbage like this and makes billions while geniuses like Akira Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune labored and died in comparative obscurity. I was a little offended, too.

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