Tom Hanks and WW2: Enough Already
The United States officially entered World War 2 after Pearl Harbor in December of 1941. Then, less than four years later, the war ended as the axis surrendered at different times throughout the summer of 1945. That’s it. Four years. Meanwhile, Tom Hanks has either starred in or Executive Produced Saving Private Ryan, a movie about protecting a particular foot soldier in World War 2; Band of Brothers, an HBO mini-series following an airborne battalion also in WW2; and now The Pacific, a new HBO mini-series about Marines in, you guessed it, World War Number Two. One war, three very involved projects. Which means it is entirely possible that Tom Hanks has spent more time making entertainment about World War 2 than we did fighting the crazy thing in the first place. My God, what I wouldn’t do for to a bosom buddy right about now.
If you haven’t seen any of The Pacific yet, let me catch you up. It’s about a group of young men – too young, we would all agree, to witness the horrors of modern warfare – who struggle to survive and make sense of the world as it reveals itself through the gruesome realities of the second World War. “No, no”, you’re saying, “though clearly you are a gifted and eloquent writer, you have accidentally given us the summary of Hanks’ other miniseries, Band of Brothers.” But I haven’t. And don’t bother asking about Saving Private Ryan, because I wasn’t describing that one either. Or, rather, I was, because they’re all more or less the same story. Alright, screw “more or less”, they’re the same story. We get it, Tom. World War 2 sucked. Now would you please dance on a giant piano and play me some chopsticks? Please?
Tom Hanks used to be awesome. Big. Toy Story. Apollo 13. Cast Away. Splash. Yeah, I’ll say it…Turner & Hooch. All great movies. Where are those? What, if it doesn’t involve a steel green helmet and a muddy foxhole you won’t make it anymore, Tom? How about this…you’re a manager of an all female baseball team that HAPPENS to be fighting in the infantry when we storm the beach at Normandy. Could we make that work? We can get Spielberg attached! Alright, maybe not. Would you take George Lucas?
Thing is, I’m sure Tom Hanks still is awesome. But lately there’s been a bit too much Dan Brown and dead Germans for my taste. For everyone’s taste. Get back to basics, Tom, I’m think you’ve got World War 2 pretty much covered. And if you can find a way to get Hooch involved, all the better.