Wow. So I was watching Pearl Harbor for the third time when I slipped and fell on some popcorn butter I had spilled in my excitement. Not only are my pants now covered in popcorn butter stains, but I also bopped myself on the head, and can’t remember a thing. Now I have to watch the film for a fourth time. Do you remember what happened in Pearl Harbor?
Pop Quiz Hot Shot!
1) This movie is all about that meetcute. What is Affleck and Beckinsale’s meetcute story?
2) Oh but whoops, Ben Affleck died. That’s sad. But he didn’t? So where the hell was he for the last few months?
3) Time for a … well not really a meetcute, but it is a something between Hartnett and Beckinsale which makes them call in lurv as well. Where do they meet up for the first time since they both heard about Affleck’s death?
4) Where do Affleck and Hartnett get their airplanes from to go and shoot down a bunch of Japanese fighter planes?
5) Uh oh, the Doolittle Raid just got a whole lot more dangerous. Why and how do their initial plans change which makes it nearly impossible for the American pilots to come back alive?
Bonus Question: Ben Affleck is playing with Harnett’s son, it is 1946, the war has been over for a year. The phone rings. Who is it and what does he say?
1) Affleck needs to go in for his physical. One problem. He has dyslexia, but this was before they really knew about such an affliction, so people just think he has bad eyesight. Beckinsale takes pity on the poor pilot (since her father was a pilot as well) and passes him. Affleck, because he’s immediately smitten, tries to get her digits (as the kids say) and in the process get’s a double dose of … some vaccine and passes out. Beckinsale then meets him outside of the hospital where Affleck then immediately pops a champagne cork into his nose like a goober. Needless to say they are well and truly in luuuuuuurv.
2) Well, he crashed into the Channel, and then presumably was picked up by a French or German patrol which brought him to a POW camp in German controlled France. From there he apparently escaped?! That seems unlikely. Mayhaps a borderline offensive fake sequel is in the works based on this implausible scenario.
3) They both decide to go to the movies to go see a comedy, but a very much not funny propaganda film playing prior basically shows Ben Affleck dying in a plane crash. They both escape to the fresh Hawaiian air and see each other and decide to go get a malt (I assume, that sounds like something Michael Bay would write in a script). People are a talkin’ and eventually they are a smochin’.
4) Well the main airfield is all blown up, but Hartnett has been working on fixing airplanes at the mechanic’s field throughout the film. They know that it is possible those haven’t been blown up yet. The gamble pays off as they manage to get literally just two planes into the air flown by Affleck and Hartnett to shoot down some Japanese fighters.
5) A Japanese submarine spies them about 600 miles out from their target location. The issue is that they are going to relay their position to the Japanese fleet and the element of surprise will be gone. Alec Baldwin (aka Doolittle) decides that they just have to make these skinny ladies even skinnier and try and make it to China running literally on fumes. They do make it just barely to crash land in some rice paddies.
Bonus Answer: Strange, Ben Affleck doesn’t know who it is, but the voice is familiar. He says “peacock marmalade” and something in his brain flips. Who is he? Where is he? He doesn’t know. He looks around and sees a set of car keys. He grabs them, walks outside, spies the car and gets in. He opens the glove compartment and there is a set of maps for Tennessee. So he lives in Tennessee, that’s a help. He realizes he’s wearing dog tags. Rafe McCawley. That’s a name, it doesn’t ring a bell. He thinks. His head hurts so badly. But he gets a sense that his head would hurt just a little bit less if, if … if he killed President Truman? He looks back at the glove compartment. There is a gun. He checks his wallet. More than enough money to get to Washington D.C. He doesn’t know who he is, but he was in the military in some capacity. His head hurt so badly, but he thought he might just have enough friends in D.C. to get close enough to Truman to fix that. He sets off into the sunset. His wife comes around the corner to find her child playing alone in the backyard. She goes to the front. The car is gone, and only a wisp of dust betrays that her husband was here not too long ago. She races to the phone and calls Jimmy Doolittle, “My husband is gone. Can I come and see you in D.C., our suspicions were correct.”
Wow, so Ben Affleck was a Manchurian Candidate activated by renegade Germans after the war. It does explain how he “escaped” from Nazi controlled France I suppose. The film is called Pearl Harbor 2: The Manchurian Candidate, and it is an intense thriller starring Kate Beckinsale and Ben Affleck as they both race against the clock to finally bring Rafe back from the war, one way or another.