You have to feel for Michael Bay: he clearly put his entire heart into this attempt at prestige picture respectability, and he films the Pearl Harbor attack as though he was put on this earth to do it, and yet the result was one of the biggest box office disappointments of his career. If this had come out just one summer later, the public might have eaten up Bay's tale of square-jawed American gumption and heroics.
Oh my...where to start with this one. A noble effort from the start, but almost painfully so. Bay's attempt to recreate the feel of a 1940s war picture feels strained and contrived, and fatally unfocused. Randal Wallace's script has cheese and self conscious earnestness to spare. But that attack sequence, oh that attack sequence, may be the finest thing Bay has ever directed. An unwieldy mess, but not without merits.
A vehement and clumsy post-9/11 failure, but also an interesting one. Inane dialogue is laid on thick, but it's spectacular, visually. Crisply shot and edited action and a terrific score keep it somewhat watchable.
Not as bad as it could be. It's enjoyable in parts, with some scenes reminiscent to Titanic and the glamour of The Aviator. It's not as good as the others, but it achieves what a film of its stature should do. I found interesting the All-American message, especially because Hollywood is often said to have no national identity. It's an interesting film for that.