The dynamic duo of Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks are at it again. First it was the Oscar winner Saving Pvt Ryan. Then it was the epic and Emmy award-winning WWII mini-series Band of Brothers. ‘Brothers’ has to be my most favorite mini-series of all time. Both the ‘Ryan’ and ‘Brothers’ masterfully depict the horrors of war, the brotherhood of solders, and the heroic patriotism of our veterans. Now the question is, can lightening strike for a third time?
This time, set in the Pacific theater, The Pacific starts with a sobering summary of the events of Pearl Harbor and ends in the muddy trenches on the island of Guadalcanal. In ‘Brothers’ the story revolved around the courageous true exploits of Captain Winters. In The Pacific, the story fragments into following the true stories of three new recruits. It was a little disorienting to keep up with the multiple stories but by the end of the episode, I finally caught on. Pacific’s first episode (out of 10), does a great job teasing you with near combat situations until the last possible moment. After a bloody ‘turkey shoot’, the solders quickly realize that ‘war’ is not as glamorous as they hoped.
The Pacific uses much of the same formula that ‘Brothers’ did so successfully. Spielberg/Hanks wants to depict what World War II was all about; ordinary young men in extraordinary circumstances. The only thing the Pacific suffers from is the comparison from its predessesor. From the start, it doesn’t have quite the same charm and emotional connect that ‘Brothers’ did because the story is split in thirds. So its going to take longer getting attached to all the characters. However, overall the authenticity, the action, and the heart of The Pacific is strong and will probably lead it to award-winning status for its makers. I’m looking forward to the next 10 weeks.