There are dozens of movies released every year based on true events, and much fuss is always made about how true they actually are to the actual events. This is particularly pressing when the events are real-life disasters in which thousands, perhaps even millions of people, lost their lives; if you tell the story wrong, you’re going to piss off a lot of people.
Further to the point, it’s not just the issue of truth, but also of taste and tone; there is an urgent need to be respectful to those who died and their surviving family members as well, rather than positioning their suffering as the fuel for Hollywood greed.
These 10 films are a mixed bag; some clearly didn’t give a solid gold s*** about what actually took place, whereas some at least tried to go the noble route before mutating into something no less tacky than everything else on this list. Here are 10 shockingly tasteless movies based on real disasters, be it natural or man made…
10. Pearl Harbour
Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbour is a veritable instruction manual for how not to make a blockbuster movie based on a real atrocity. There are three main issues with the film; the first is that it turns the real tragedy of that fateful day in 1941 into a gung-ho action movie, and though undeniably well-assembled, it gives off a tacky air as soon as the first bombs start dropping. Should we be delighting in a real event that caused such a catastrophic loss of life?
Then there’s the inherent goofiness of any Michael Bay movie; who can forget the stuttering fella who struggles to warn his pals that the “Japs” have shown up? Oh, and then there’s an attempt to force in a Titanic-esque love story, a weird love triangle between Kate Beckinsale, Josh Hartnett and Ben Affleck, which doesn’t work at all, and again seems like an effort to distract from the real tragedy (something James Cameron just about got away with in Titanic).
This article was first posted on July 2, 2013