Much as I love them, “Saving Private Ryan” and “Band of Brothers” are almost defiantly uncynical and one-sided; “The Pacific” is refreshing in that regard, with both combatants often depicted as ugly and unheroic. Regrettably it doesn’t have the characters or pacing it’s predecessors did, and when it lapses it into cliched territory it can be something of a snooze.
A far different approach from Band of Brothers, so anyone expecting the same camaraderie-type vein will be let down. This one comes across even more brutal, but is shot with the same type of outstanding photography that characterizes virtually all HBO productions. War in the Pacific was hell and the series conveys that. I prefer Band of Brothers, but this is a truly great series.
It certainly does not live up to the heritage of Band of Brothers. Some pointless love stories and bad acting ruin a big part of it. On the other hand side aspects like the island asylum on Kavuvu were pretty interesting. What disturbed me most is the lack of Hiroshima/Nagasaki. In BoB it seemed to be no problem to critisice some unpleasant parts of the war. Here you just get some more slow mo and Hans Zimmer music.
If we have to compare to Band of Brothers, I have to say I found that series so incredibly boring I couldn't finish. There was a kind of nostalgic, softened distance to its portrayal of war. This series however has a terrible emotional intimacy to it. Just searing and relentless, grisly business. The scene where Sledge goes into battle for the first time was incredibly well done.