‘Pearl Harbor’ is coming to Netflix

“Pearl Harbor,” a 2001 film starring Ben Affleck, Josh Hartnett, and Kate Beckinsale, is a sprawling mess of a movie that depicts two Army Air Corps pilots and the nurse they both love during the early months of World War II. The movie would have us believe that an American pilot, Affleck’s character, would be part of the famous Eagle Squadron, a unit of Americans who fought in the Battle of Britain, has fought against the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, and participated in the Doolittle Raid.

The movie had some of the best aerial combat scenes ever shown on cinema. The sequence that depicted the attack on Pearl Harbor was especially heart stopping, showing the two principal male stars as apparently the only Americans to get airborne, shooting down numerous Japanese planes. Beckinsale’s character is no less heroic, helping to handle the flood of casualties that occurred on one of the worst days in American military history.

The movie had more than its share of problems with historical accuracy and anachronisms. Hollywood tends to wink at telling historical stories as they really happened and instead tells them as they should have happened, at least for the sake of the story. However, Pearl Harbor survivors were especially miffed at how accuracy was sacrificed willy-nilly. The wrong types of aircraft were often used in the action sequences, a detail that was instantly noticed by World War II history buffs.

“Pearl Harbor” was savaged by critics, for the most part. The movie was nevertheless nominated for a number of technical Academy Awards, of which it won Best Sound Editing. It also won an MTV Movie Award for Best Action Sequence for the Pearl Harbor attack. The movie was also nominated for a hat full of Razzies, none of which it won, fortunately.

Guys may find the love triangle a little hard to take. Affleck’s character starts the movie in love with Beckinsale’s character, He is lost and presumed dead over the English Channel. Hartnett’s character steps in and provides comfort--a little too much, as Beckinsale’s character becomes with child. Things get a little awkward when Affleck’s character returns, very much alive, and is not happy at developments concerning his girl.

If the critics and the history buffs turned thumbs down on “Pearl Harbor,” audiences ate it up. The film garnered a healthy $450 million world-wide against a $140 million budget, earning a respectable profit. Netflix subscribers will now have a chance to see the movie all over again. The bigger your TV screen for this movie, the better.