So lets get this out of the way right at the top. This is not a great movie. I don;t normally do this, but I am actually going to post a bit of Roger Ebert’s Review:
“Pearl Harbor is a two-hour movie squeezed into three hours, about how on Dec. 7, 1941, the Japanese staged a surprise attack on an American love triangle. Its centerpiece is 40 minutes of redundant special effects, surrounded by a love story of stunning banality. The film has been directed without grace, vision, or originality, and although you may walk out quoting lines of dialogue, it will not be because you admire them”, and criticized its liberties with historical facts: “There is no sense of history, strategy or context; according to this movie, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor because America cut off its oil supply, and they were down to an 18-month reserve. Would going to war restore the fuel sources? Did they perhaps also have imperialist designs? Movie doesn’t say”*
Yeah, that about sums it up, but if that is the case why am I offering up a review of it on the site? Because as bad as the movie is it does have something that not a lot of movies about Pearl Harbor has, the American reaction to the attack, The Doolittle Raid. See the last bit of this movie takes our leading men and throws them against Tokyo in modified B-25 Mitchell bombers to various effect.
See the Doolittle Raid achieved very little except as a reflexive action. They hit us and we hit them back. It was a moral boost to Americans and a message to the Japanese that distance would not protect them.
As of today this movie stands as one of the handful, and by far the most modern, of films that shows this incredible feat. It is hard to recommend such a bad movie but as pure brain candy and maybe an introduction to the Pearl Harbor, Doolittle Raid myths, OK, I can see that. Your mileage may very.