Tammy brought this over on DVD. As soon as I learned from the previews that this movie had a love story I had zero interest in seeing it in the theatres. Every time Hollyweird puts a love story in a war movie it turns out entirely silly and contrived. In fact, Hollyweird rarely gets any war movie anything close to believable, let alone realistic. They just throw in a few real names and locations, maybe a well-known situation albeit totally out of context, and call that a historical tale.
The story is dirt simple. Boyhood buddies join the Army Air Corp and go to flight school together. There, Affleck meets the love interest. In typical simpleton movie fashion, they fall in love in about eight minutes. (Coincidentally, the movie Serendipity came on while I was writing this. I just realized it's the same actress. Though, she hides her accent well in this movie. I think Tammy told me she was in both.)
Also typical Hollyweird, they use the main characters for multiple narrative roles. Affleck is shipped off to England to fly against the Germans there. Of course, the attack happens the day after he gets back. (I'm not giving anything away, because they show him in the previews participating in the big battle.) In the real battle only a couple of pilots got off the ground to attack the Japanese. Of course, our guys are the ones. And they pull off some ridiculous stunts to shoot down a couple of enemy planes. Leading them past guys with rifles?!? Give me a break.
And then, to stretch credulity way past the breaking point, they use the same characters to fly in the Doolittle raid. Sheesh. These guys have no multi-engine experience, let alone training on this aircraft. There are essentially no similarities in combat between flying a solo fighter vs commanding a crew of eight in a low-level bombing mission. They're both airplanes. That's about it.
Mixed in with all this are a coupla love stories. It's not nearly as out of place as Enemy at the Gates, but they are a bit forced. And I'm sorry, but they really don't work for me to add human interest. I had essentially no compassion for these unrealistic characters. Nothing at all like what I felt for the characters in Private Ryan.
Portions of the computer effects were really nice to look at. For example, following the bomb down to one of the ships. But a lot of the bits where they have aircraft weaving between ships just looks awful. The planes are turning the wrong way and skidding horribly. Mostly too slow and just getting dragged around the sky by a mouse.
The pyro effects were really nice, though.
On my brother's Total Movie Value Scale, Pay Per View. Another WW II movie with a love story. Blech. Better than I expected, but still pretty lightweight.
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