My girlfriend made me go and watch this because, and I quote, 'Jan Smit is so cute'. Where to begin? Story, total clichés, stolen from Titanic for the most part, bizarre, ridiculous, not making sense. Acting, wooden, without any feelings what so ever. Special effect, mediocre at best. The bombing of Rotterdam had a enormous impact on those who lived through it but in this movie that hardly comes foreward. It really deserved better then this piece of waste of time and effort. I saw this on Friday and until now, Monday, my gf has not mentioned a word about it. Her not talking about this movie is the best part of the movie. Save your money and time.
The Rotterdam Bombing
Drama / History / War
The Rotterdam Bombing
Drama / History / War
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In 1940, a struggling poor young man falls for a girl who must pay a terrible price to save her mentally disabled brother by marrying a powerful shrewd businessman. Then Rotterdam Blitz, a devastating German bombardment, begins.
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How to make bad look at its worst
What a dud...in the sense of a bomb that doesn't go off.
Among all the good or at least fine Dutch movies that get such a bad vote here on IMDb, there is finally one that seems to deserve it. The Bombardement, or The Bombing, whatever it is called in English, was plugged years back as the major film debut of folk singer Jan Smit. This led to quite some backlash from professional actors and critics, who considered casting a famous face in order to generate publicity and lure his fanbase into the cinemas fans a cheap trick. However, this is a publicity stunt as old as the history of cinema itself, so as long as the result is good, I am not too bothered with it. But when the movie finally came out, it got panned immediately by every serious critic. Whatever aspiration the makers had to sell this movie abroad and attract an international audience, like Paul Verhoeven's acclaimed Zwartboek, were probably stifled very quickly; it is probably no coincidence that I cannot find an international English title here for this movie on the IMDb page, only a German one.
Of course, when a movie is so badly received, I think the audience should not slavishly imitate the bad reviews without having seen the film itself, and decide for themselves if the movie is really that bad. In my case, I often find that most movies that have been burned down to the ground aren't half as bad as everyone claims. Although I don't think that The Bombardement is the complete smoldering ruin it is made out to be, it is not for lack of trying.
It is not hard to see that the producers were aiming to make a Dutch Titanic. A simple everyman, a pretty wealthy girl, an impossible romance, and a sudden disaster to complicate things. There are moments were the imitation becomes quite obvious, like a dancing scene in a club, the rivalry with the girl's fiancé, an awkward moment with nudity, a clandestine sexual encounter, the girl's initial rejection and final acceptance of the everyman, and a tearful departure. The only thing missing was an analogue to the "I'm flying, Jack!" scene on the front bow. However, the closer the makers tried to get to Titanic, the closer they're getting to Pearl Harbor, and far beyond.
Basically most things in the movie are hit-and-miss. The story outline isn't all that bad, the solution to put a road movie element in as a way to ignite the budding romance between the two leads is pretty inventive. But it is the finished screenplay that is one of the major problems. Written by Paul Ruven and Ate de Jong, two experienced Dutch filmmakers, it makes about every mistake a freshman screenwriter would make. Corny situations, unsubtle plot resolutions, endless banalities, improbable coincidences and dialog that wouldn't feel out of place in a bad soap take away about every literary aspiration that this movie could presume. But almost equally bad is the awful direction by de Jong. I felt that a lot of scenes could have worked with better timing or a director who understands the characters or the situation; however, some crucial scenes that needed to play out as dramatic come out as unintentionally funny or even cringe-worthy. Even the majority of the professional actors seem to be unable to get the right tone, and it is almost unimaginable that Jan Smit's performance comes out as moderately okay and natural. Not that he is a great actor yet, but judging by this attempt, I'd give him a second chance.
The spectacle of the bombing itself is pretty unimpressive. They built some sets to destroy, some bombs go off, it looks okay but feels pretty obligatory. Again, these scenes are filled with moments where they try to inject some humanity, but it backfires and only creates uncomfortable giggles. As such, the disaster movie part fails to convey the drama of the whole historic situation. But the final blow comes from the horrible voice- over, which is so over-explanatory and uses such worn-out clichés like "I wouldn't have done it any other way" and "This is the worst that ever happened to me", that it almost becomes a piece of comedy in itself.
What I can say for this movie is that it isn't boring. It's so corny and funny at the wrong moments that it is almost cute in its own silliness and inadequacy. What is unfortunate is that the bombing of Rotterdam is an important historic moment for the Netherlands that would have deserved a better film treatment, but this is really a movie I can't stay mad at.
What was this monstrosity I was looking at?
I have seen many dutch movies, really many... but this one... well, it really is the sour berry on top of a smashed pie. Take some good names (Jan Smit for the first time in an acting role) and a horrible historic event (the bombing of Rotterdam) and you have a winner? Hell no! The acting: horrible! The special effects? Even more horrible. OK, there were explosions, but not the size that will make a house tremble, looking at the size of the actual explosions. More like of someone who accidentally drops some cherry bombs...
And why for God's sake did they put the ACTUAL BOMBING at the END of the movie? It's called Het Bombardement (the bombing) for nothing. Look at 2012 for instance, they put the action in the MIDDLE of the movie, and the rest after that.
No, Het Bombardement is a abomination of a movie, and it didn't showed the drama of that horrible event. If you come across this movie in stores, leave it there. It's not worth your money.