Michael Bay directed and Randall Wallace wrote “Pearl Harbor”. Bay is famous for his brainless action films and Wallace wrote the historical atrocity “Braveheart”, so what could go wrong? Nothing, if you don’t mind having your intelligence insulted. Here are some of my favorite “fuck you, intellectuals” moments from the film. I am not talking about historical inaccuracies (although some fall into that category), I am talking about moments that any intelligent person should say WTF!
1. Rafe and Danny are getting physicals, but Rafe mentions he does not want to lose his wings. Does Wallace think you get your physical AFTER you become a pilot?
2. Rafe volunteers for the Eagle Squadron, but he does not tell his best buddy that he is applying. They did not have a conversation with Rafe saying, “hey buddy, I’ve got a great idea”. Later, Danny tells Evelyn that Rafe lied to him and said he had been “assigned” to the Eagle Squadron. Danny would have known that the Eagle Squadron was purely a volunteer organization.
3. Rafe’s plane crashes into the English Channel in broad daylight, he escapes after dark.
4. Rafe is rescued that day (or the next) and yet in three months he finds no way to let Evelyn know he is alive. If he wants to surprise her, he is one colossal asshole.
5. Speaking of which, did Bay and Wallace expect us to think the main star is dead early in the movie?
6. Some of the Japanese planes do flyovers before attacking.
7. Torpedo bombers fly around without dropping their torpedoes. Some fly over airfields. At least, they don’t drop a torpedo on an air strip.
8. Japanese planes fly between ships taking fire from both sides and not being able to shoot back.
9. Sarge fires 11 shells from a shot gun without reloading.
10. Sarge uses a walkie-talkie to talk to Rafe as he flies against the Japanese. That's impossible. This allows Rafe to tell Sarge and the others to get in a tower so he can maneuver Jap pursuers into the sights of Sarge’s shot gun.
11. Two fighter pilots suddenly become bomber pilots with no training. But wait, they bring their buddies with them.
12. Evelyn goes to a communications center where they are able to listen to the cockpit chatter from the Doolittle Raid. Impossible.
13. Rafe and Danny crash in broad daylight, but moments later, it’s night.
14. Their Japanese captors suddenly produce a yoke to put on Danny’s shoulders. Oh so subtle reference to Jesus Christ. Coincidentally, that is the name I yelled when I watched that scene.
15. When they return to Pearl Harbor, Evelyn has not been told that Danny is dead. Thank goodness Evelyn loves surprises!