Oh boy, where to start...
Ok, basic structure of the film: Act I - Everyone's Happy, Act II - Everything Blows Up, Act III - Everyone's Sad. This is literally it guys, if you're expecting anything deeper or more complex than that...then you obviously don't know who's directing this masterpiece of patriotic, macho cheese. Michael Bay's film actually taught me many things about the war: apparently all women were sexy, retarded nurses back then, all black men were cooks and Franklin D Roosevelt had no less than four chins. Yes, this is one history lesson I'll never forget.
Every cliché in the book is thrown at us full throttle as every shot sports a giant American flag, every line is peppered with Parmesan and people walk in slo-mo whenever things get dramatic (read: all the time). Historical inaccuracies aside, at the heart of the film is a love triangle so irrelevant and predictable that it makes you wonder how the script could have possibly been more than 5 pages long. The film's first act introduces so many annoying, dislikeable characters it's actually genuinely overwhelming.
The humour throughout is so childish, boorish, inappropriate and pedestrian only a pre-pubescent child could possibly relate to it. The rest of the cast is as bland as it gets: Hartnett is so uninteresting he might as well be transparent, Affleck has never been more irritating, Beckinsale is impressively rubbish, Jon Voight looks way too hilarious to be taken seriously, Cuba Gooding Jr is given nothing more than a one dimensional character with literally no story to work with, Dan Aykroyd is wasted...I could go on. Oh, and of course, everyone is a vulgar stereotype thanks to a script which couldn't possibly be any more dramatic and by-numbers.
Visually, yes the film looks great, too great in fact. It's like everything is shot in a helicopter at sunset: EVERYTHING. The explosions and battle scenes are impressive but the direction is so inept in how it attempts to create tension, excitement and suspense that it's all terribly dull regardless.
What is most perplexing about all this is that Pearl Harbor is now regarded as a classic turkey but Titanic is still respected when both films are essentially just as corny, overblown and inappropriate. If you're going to make a serious, sensitive film about a big, serious historical event in which many people died, please don't hire the director of Armageddon (or True Lies). It's like when Tom Shadyac went from directing Ace Ventura to Patch Adams, yikes!
Overall, this is unbearable and probably the worst history lesson you're likely to get. If you're a fan of bad movies this is just about watchable but you'll be praying for Armageddon, The Island or even Transformers soon enough...