Cinema: Mission: Inconsequential

Capturing neither the agony of war nor the ecstasy of wartime romance, Pearl Harbor just treads water

Its budget--$140 million, not counting the premiere last week on an aircraft carrier in Hawaii--is the biggest in human history. Its length--three hours--is properly epic. Its central sequence--the infamous Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor--is an excellent orchestration of today's best and brightest special effects. The net result of this mighty effort is perhaps predictable: near total inconsequence.

Notice, please, that we didn't say Pearl Harbor is a totally terrible movie. It is watchable in a dim, beclouded sort of way. But one rather thinks that a film trying to recapture the romantic raptures and ruptures people suffered as World War II...

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