REVIEW: Pearl Harbor: Strength & Honor Edition (Rated-R) | ManlyMovie

REVIEW: Pearl Harbor: Strength & Honor Edition (Rated-R)


Runtime: 128 Mins
Rated: R
What To Expect: Probably the only version of this movie worth checking out

When the movie originally came out, the only people I knew who were talking about it were my girlfriend and her annoying yapping friends. Go figure. I watched it once or twice with the intention of never subjecting myself to it again. Then, I found out there was an R-Rated cut, but still I resisted. Not even this abomination could be saved by rough and bloody violence. It was only when I found out that somene took a hatchet to the R-Rated version that my interest returned. “Using the R-rated Director’s Cut as my basis, I have completely removed the awful romantic love triangle and thereby turned this into a kinetic war movie that focuses entirely on the lead-up and attack on Pearl Harbor, and the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo”. This is what the man who re-edited this particular version of ‘Pearl Harbor’ (2001) said about his cut. I gave it a ganders today…

The original movie had some nasty fucking demons about it. There’s only one thing worse than a romantic subplot. A love triangle subplot. Actually, there is something worse again – forcing one into a war movie, about Pearl Harbor no less. This shit was also the end of Michael Bay. He made some good things in the 90’s, but after this, no more, not until Secret Soldiers. So with this unofficial release, this mystery editor really had his work cut out for him. The first thing, as mentioned, the core of this cut is Rated-R. Is it the real deal? It looks that way, there are too many bloodsquibs and severed heads to make this a post conversion job. The attack on the harbor itself, before anything is re-edited at all, is one of more visceral consequence. Then there’s editing itself…

The original PG-13 sentimental sapfest went on for an excruciating 183 fucking minutes. For three hours unsuspecting viewers were subjected to an ambush of unrelenting melodrama, with two dude-bros (40’s style) fighting over some sheila. Here, the editor has been ruthless. He has terminated 60 full minutes. All that posin’, all that lovin’… gone. Vanished, no signs at all of it almost. It’s 90% seamless, you won’t notice it actually happening. This is now a battle movie. Maybe even too much of a battle movie, it’s like 15 minutes talking, 105 minutes breatheless Bay-ism action. Mind you, he’s comparatively easy with the cam shakiness here. But while this is the only version anyone should watch – if at all, it still suffers from Hartnett, Affleck and the DNA of something more… teeny. Something I suppose you wouldn’t notice as much were this a first-time viewing.

It’s just about watchable and no more, and that’s a remarkable turnaround from being insufferable shit. I guess I should put the disclaimer in too that this is non sanctioned and you really shouldn’t seek it out unless you already own the movie. Bad news though, Affleck still survives the Battle of Britain.


  1. Avatar

    Eric Hutchison

    December 9, 2017 at 7:33 pm

    I knew that movie was hot garbage before I even had a chance to go see it…….so I never went. If you want a good movie about Pearl Harbor, watch Tora! Tora! Tora!

    • The Night Rider

      The Night Rider

      December 9, 2017 at 8:26 pm

      That’s a good one for sure.

  2. Avatar

    Mucho Macho

    December 9, 2017 at 11:59 pm

    Allow Yours Truly to reminisce about this motion picture. When the first trailer hit I got to say I was psyched for this film, it looked fucking great and I remember when it used to play in cinemas before it’s released & the theaters will quiet down and people would watch the trailer and afterwards you will hear people say that the movie looked like it was going to be great & they couldn’t wait. Here was that trailer

    But here’s what happened. You have to understand & appreciate what a monumental success “Titanic” was when it was released in December of ’97 in The States & that it was a huge hit all throughout ’98, being the number one film in America up until April and you could not avoid the soundtrack. So for a couple of years it really was like this cultural phenomenon, after it’s home video release and subsequent debut on cable, not to mention how much of a star Leonardo DiCaprio became and how much the tabloids followed him around, one way or the other you could not escape the fucking movie.

    So Michael Bay ,Jerry Bruckheimer and Company decided to find another love story set in the backdrop of another real life tragedy & if it worked once obviously, it could work again. So Pearl Harbor seemed the logical choice. They cast two up-and-coming young actors, one being the very bland Hartnett and the other one being Affleck who was still really famous in the young market demographic from the success of “Good Will Hunting” and a couple of other movies.

    So they took what should have been another “Saving Private Ryan” and basically turned it into or wanted to turn it into “Titanic in War”.
    They even got a popular female singer to sing a love ballad for the film ala Celine Dion

    Now I’m going to be honest, I have not seen the film in a quite some time, a long time actually but I don’t remember hating it as much as other people do. I don’t remember thinking it was great but I do remember thinking it was okay for what it was. Maybe I should watch it again someday & see how I feel about it today after such a long time has gone by.

    Needless to say for those of you that feel that it should have been a hard manly war movie without a bullshit romantic love triangle story, you have “Titanic” to blame for that. Btw.. I’m man enough to admit I liked “Titanic”, I just did not know that its success was going to turn James Cameron into a pussy.

  3. Avatar

    Shawn Gordon

    December 14, 2017 at 11:52 pm

    I may have to check this out, the theatrical version was excruciating.