Hell in the Pacific - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hell in the Pacific Reviews

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½ June 24, 2012
John Boorman's Hell in the Pacific is the story about two solders, one American (Lee Marvin) and one Japanese (Toshiro Mifune) who is trapped on an god forsaken island in the middle of the pacific ocean. Neither of them can understand each others languages, and after a lot fights, they decides to put away their differences and starting to work together in order to make a boat out of three and escape the island, but will they succeed or are they to different?

Hell in the Pacific is an excellent anti-war film, which a great cast only consisting of two people, great actors. It's such a great film because we always understand what they are saying, but they don't understand each other, and we as an audience are frustrated by that which only makes it more thrilling.Thumbs up.
½ May 31, 2012
Two great actors, a great script, a grand theme--Powerful in it's simplicity!!
January 24, 2012
Toshiro Mifune was fantastic as was Lee Marvin in this WWII film that was the inspiration for "Enemy Mine".
½ November 13, 2011
About as small a cast as your ever likely to see and the two characters don't even speak the same language so this is quite light in dialogue. Lee Marvin is always a great presence. The ending if at first a little disappointing is actually quite fitting.
½ October 10, 2011
My favorite Boorman picture, except for ZARDOZ. Also says something about humans, when ideals are raised into question.
September 20, 2011
One of the best films I've ever seen.
August 19, 2011
Strong performance from Mifune and--at times--from Lee Marvin, but I just didn't really see what the point of this movie was. Or, if I did, it was obvious and could have been made in about five minutes worth of screen-time. The ending, in particular, was stupid and the alternate ending wasn't much better. Still, it was beautiful, well-acted, and reminded me a lot of the good parts of "Cast Away", at times.
½ July 7, 2011
A very slow, yet suspenseful and enjoyable film starring Toshiro Mifune and Lee Marvin as soldiers, of their own nations, stranded on an uninhabited Pacific island during WWII.

A Japanese Soldier, presumably having been on the island for days, if not longer, discovers that an American Soldier also crash landed on the same island. They instantly are fearful of each other and are ready to kill the other if necessary. The American Soldier at first only wants water from the Japanese Soldier, but, being enemies, they have constant battles where the Japanese man ends up sending the American hiding in the woods. Soon the American starts destroying the Japanese man's handmade survival tools. So, the Japanese man ends up capturing the American, and then the American escapes and captures the Japanese man- though eventually they have to rely on each other to survive, and they both realize it. They work together to survive and find a way off the island and create a sort of friendship.

Both actors are amazing and the fact that there is very little dialogue, and no subtitles for Mifune's Japanese makes the film seem much more real. It's as if we're just observing this as its happening, and if you don't know English, you don't know what Marvin is saying, and if you don't know Japanese, you don't know what Mifune is saying - though, visually, it is very clear - most of the time - what they mean.

As a visually based film the cinematography is absolutely beautiful, and there's this sort of weird bizarre style that highlights the paranoia these two enemies have with each other. There's a score to accompany their struggles, and in the long run you may end up caring for both soldiers equally. They just want to survive and get back home, and this is a fine observation of that.

One flaw, though its probably just because I know English and not Japanese, is that Marvin came across as mean and he always seemed to have the upper hand. Really Mifune's character could have survived on his own due to his craftsmanship, but one of the themes that the Japanese soldier needed the American soldier's ability to 'take charge' was a bit much. It seemed like the American, at times, was only using Mifune, because really it was the American that needed him more than he needed the American. This flaw is very small and not very noticeable, in my opinion, but it is definitely present. I know its the character, but it's all fiction, so to have them need each other equally with the situation's desperation, they each need to be equal in those sort of skills or at least have Marvin's character have a better quality than just 'taking charge'.

Besides that, this movie is a WWII masterpiece that shouldn't be missed by anyone. It's a very original premise portrayed extremely well.
½ May 24, 2011
Probably the most powerful anti war film of all time
½ May 19, 2011
Fantastic movie. Thoroughly enjoyed it, and would recommend it to anyone who wants to watch a different type of war movie, one that contains conflict on a much deeper, human level.
January 16, 2011
Terrible direction but fantastic acting. It doesn't get more badass than Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune
½ November 27, 2010
I'd much rather be stuck on a desert island with Lee Marvin and Toshiro Mifune than with that wimp Tom Hanks.
September 17, 2010
July 22, 2010
i couldn't finish this movie the first time i saw it, but i was an idiot then. you can't ask for more than marvin & mifune together on a deserted island... it's a quiet movie and would be great on the big screen as an immersive experience
½ March 6, 2010
What happens when Toshiro Mifune and Lee Marvin get too badass for one room? EVERYTHING EXPLODES
February 17, 2010
I'd almost like to say this is the first time I've really been disappointed by Boorman, but I think I was just caught off-guard. Half of me wishes that Boorman had kept his serious face on, while the other half appreciates what a funny, playful film this turned out to be, and thinks the enigmatic ending more than makes up for the sometimes-annoying one-sided bickering that the characters engage in. As usual, Boorman delivers a clever film that defies expectation and tinkers with cinematic form while never becoming too experimental. It would have been fascinating to see a film completely without dialogue or music between these two characters, but I'm mostly satisfied with what we got.
February 11, 2010
John Boorman's classic antiwar drama with clash of the titans Lee Marvin vs. Toshiro Mifune is awesome to behold. Stranded on some small island in the Pacific Marvin and Mifune slowly realize they will have to cooperate with one another to get themselves off the island, and it's not going to be easy. Featuring some of the most gorgeous shots of the Pacific that where shot on location matches great with the haunting lonesomeness and culture clash of the two leads. Boorman's direction was in it's infancy at this point, but comes off as some old master director doing his last big picture. The fatalistic feeling of the plot is appearent in every aspect of this film, highly recommended.
½ January 23, 2010
Good war film, undone mostly by the sloppy ending.
January 23, 2010
The acting in this film is incredible, despite the lack of dialogue. It is one of those movies where it feels shorter that its 1hr 42 min length. The alternate ending in the special features is way better than the ending in the film. Also, make sure to turn on the subtitles, because the Japanese dialogue is not subtitled without turning them on. Highly recommended.
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