[MOVIE PREVIEW]Blockbuster Tries to PleaseUntil the early 1990s, South Koreans were very familiar with the story of the Korean War's beginning － the villainous North Koreans launched a surprise attack on a peaceful Sunday afternoon. This retelling encouraged patriotism and fostered antagonism toward North Korea. If the "Pearl Harbor" producers spent $145 million to remind viewers of the savagery of the Japanese raid upon the United States 60 years ago, however, it was a waste of money. But this was not the intention of Jerry Bruckheimer, the producer of "The Rock" (1996) and "Armageddon" (1998) .
"Pearl Harbor" did not focus on evoking patriotism, according the director Michael Bay and the scriptwriter Randall Wallace. Rather, they tried to retell the story from a bird's-eye perspective, meaning they kept the Asian audience and its point of view in mind. In dealing with the historical event that led to the United States' entry into World War II and subsequent victory, however, the film could not escape dropping a hint of tried and true Pax Americana into the story.
"Pearl Harbor" tries to please everyone in every possible way. From a love story to action-packed war scenes, the makers of "Pearl Harbor" tried to please action buffs as well as romance lovers.
Ben Affleck does a good job portraying Rafe, who is in love with Evelyn, brought to life by Kate Beckinsale. Danny, played by Josh Hartnett, is his longtime childhood friend. After the bombing at Pearl Harbor, the three volunteer to join the war effort. But tragedy begins when Rafe is mistakenly listed among the war dead, leaving Evelyn to fall for Danny.
Though you might feel Evelyn's confusion, being caught between two men, the war sequence is true to form, justifying the astronomical amount of money spent. In particular, the scene portraying a torpedoed man-of-war, the Oklahoma, sinking after turning upside down, is striking enough to overwhelm the audience. Visual effects are the main outcome of the film's overblown budget.
Released on May 25 in the United States, "Pearl Harbor" earned a trifling $75.1 million over Memorial Day weekend. Audiences in Korea can watch this blockbuster movie beginning Saturday in 60 theaters only in Seoul.
If you don't mind sitting for more than three hours without an intermission, Pearl Harbor may be a good choice for this weekend.
by Chun Su-jin
with the Korea JoongAng Daily
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