Rafe and Danny's Ridiculous Heroics in Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor
OK, wait a minute. After we made fun of Michael Bay in the article's intro, it's going to turn out that a particularly ridiculous scene from a Michael Bay movie actually happened?
Yes. And it happened almost exactly as it was portrayed.
In Pearl Harbor, Danny and Rafe spend the night of December 6 at a bar getting drunk and then passing out early in the morning. The next day, they are awakened by what they think are U.S. Navy drills, but are actually the sounds of incoming Japanese aircraft bombing the hell out of the harbor. Quickly realizing what's going on, they make a call and order two aircraft loaded up.
"Get up! We need to protect Kate Beckinsale's amazing rack!"
They then jump into their car and race toward the airfield at full speed, being shot at by Japanese planes the whole way because, hey, it's a Michael Bay movie. Once at the field, they rapidly take off (without permission) as the airfield is attacked around them. Once in the air, they proceed to kick some serious ass, shooting down Japanese aircraft left and right, before landing.
It has all of the classic elements of a Michael Bay masculine fantasy: heroism while grossly defying authority, ridiculous badassery in the face of overwhelming odds, all while battling a hangover from a night of manly drinking with the dudes. Hell, he probably just copied the scene from Bad Boys or The Rock.
That whole story is true, almost verbatim. Except in real life, their names were George Welch and Kenneth Taylor.
"Rock Paper Scissors, best out of three. Loser gets played by Ben Affleck."
After spending the night of December 6 getting drunk and having fun, the two men passed out early in the morning. The next day, they were awakened by the sounds of what they thought were U.S. Navy drills, but turned out to be Japanese aircraft swooping in and destroying everything in sight.
Quickly realizing that they didn't want to sit there and do nothing, they called the small, relatively unknown Haleiwa Fighter Strip and ordered two aircraft readied for a fight.
"Yeah, two planes, ammo, fuel, and ... what? Who else would be calling?!"
The two then hopped into a car and sped all the way to the airfield. And they were totally shot at by the Japanese planes, just like in the movie.
Once they arrived at the airfield, they jumped into their aircraft and took off, without permission. From there they proceeded to take on any Japanese planes they happened across, despite being outnumbered a mind-blowing 175 to 1.
And the AI was on "brutal."
After shooting down a few Japanese, the two landed back at Wheeler Airfield to re-arm, where they were ordered not to take off again because their superiors feared that it was a suicide mission. However, when the second wave of Japanese fighters came in, their superiors ran for cover. While Welch and Taylor took off by driving through the grass. Just like in the damn movie.
At the end of the day, the two had shot down between four and six Japanese planes before finally landing themselves back on the ground, where they were promptly yelled at for not doing anything by an officer who was completely unaware of what they had just done.
So there you have it. When we said even Michael Bay can't outdo reality, we fucking meant it.
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For more instances of real life outdoing Hollywood, check out 6 Insane Prison Escapes That Actually Happened and 7 Real World Heists That Put 'Ocean's 11' to Shame.
If you're pressed for time and just looking for a quick fix, then check out 7 Hilarious Ways Badass Movie Lines Got Ruined by TV Censors.
And stop by LinkSTORM to learn how to supe up your explosives to be like Michael Bay's.
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