Starring: James Badge Dale, Joseph Mazzello, Rami Malek, Jon Seda
When Band of Brothers came out in 2001 it quickly became a success for HBO. The mini-series featured great acting and an inspiring story that followed the lives of Easy Company as they battled across Europe during World War II. In 2010 the same people got together and made The Pacific a mini-series about the other half of World War II. As with the first series Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks took the reins. The series stars James Badge Dale, Joseph Mazzello, Rami Malek, and Jon Seda. They are surrounded by dozens of other great actors as well.
This series is the other half of a brutal and costly war. The Pacific tells the story of several Marines as they battle across the Pacific and struggle to cope with the horrors of war. As the men battle through some of the bloodiest conflicts of the war the changes that come over them are dramatic and revealing.
The story uses some of the names from the documentary The War produced by Ken Burns. This added a nice touch since the documentary attempts to stay true to history all the way. As with Band of Brothers the film makers seemed determined to keep the authenticity of the war experience intact. From the equipment to the violence of war the episodes don’t seem to skimp on realism.
This one spends more time focusing on the lives of the men in America than Band of Brothers did. With the images of time off and time at home The Pacific seems to come from a different place than Band of Brothers. This may have hurt the film since one of the major successes behind the 2001 mini-series was the instant attachment viewers had to the group of men who were depicted. This time the series seemed to spend less time on the relationships and more time on the individual effects of war on the people who served in it. This also creates a feeling of several separate stories being told at once which isn’t as easy to follow.
This was an amazing mini-series with some very graphic moments that were startling at times. Each of the actors featured does a wonderful job expressing the individual horrors each of them was going through. The series and the cast were nominated for a large number of prestigious awards and won many of them.
It’s important to also commend the composer who scored the series. Blake Neely manages to capture the emotion without being overly repetitive. He’s also known for his work on the television series The Mentalist and the film The Last Samurai.
Band of Brothers might be the better series but that doesn’t take away from the great work done in The Pacific. I wouldn’t recommend this to anyone who can’t handle graphic violence in war. The film deals with the casualties of war up close. If you’re a fan of Spielberg and films like Saving Private Ryan this might be the series for you. I give this series 4 out of 5 stars.