After the Pearl Harbor Attack and the fall of Manila, there was the Battle of Midway, the most celebrated victory in World War II for the US.
“Midway” tells the story of the Battle of Midway during World War II when the US and Imperial Japanese naval forces fought for supremacy in the Pacific Ocean, six months after the attack on Pearl Harbor.
All styles of the Hollywood historical revisionism to make America great was present in “Midway.” Let’s put it out in the open: the Battle of Midway was not the turning point in the Pacific War. The Japanese carriers were destroyed during the battle but their lack of effective project to build more carriers was the factor that made them lose. It’s not David vs Goliath story either. Nope, the US is not lowly David here. The Americans had larger carriers, more carrier planes at his disposal and the advantage of 99 combat aircraft based at Midway itself. So to exaggerate these things was already a minus for this film.
This is not to belittle the heroism of the Americans. But the characters, played by well-known stars (please see credits below), lacked emotion for the audience to relate to them. They were distant to the audience which was effective in “Dunkirk” but didn’t work quite well in “Midway.” There’s something very wrong about watching these actors and their perfect faces standing inside a pub. It gave me chills in a bad way. Add to that their cheesy lines which seemed to come straight from motivational tweets.
But there’s good stuff in this film. The aerial battle was awesome, worthy of a Star Wars scene, like Battle of Scarif level cool. The three waves of attack were shown while identifying the name of each group of attackers. The planes nose-diving at the carriers, the missed attempts of torpedo missiles above and below sea, and the decision of the director and the writers to stick with the military strategy as their main point in driving the narrative, all of these made the film worth watching.
Thief Worthy (2 out of 5 stars). Apparently there will be a part 2 of this film: “The Battle of the Philippine Sea.” But not even its dedication to Filipino soldiers of Bataan (their heroism delayed the Japanese conquest in Asia and saved Australia, eventually helping the Allies rearm) can erase the fact that this film veered away from the reality of the war, most glaringly, the segregation of Black soldiers. (see any African-American soldiers there? None.) It just focused mainly on glorifying white American men which is so shameful.
Director: Roland Emmerich
Cast: Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans, Aaron Eckhart, Nick Jonas, Mandy Moore, Dennis Quaid, Tadanobu Asano, Woody Harrelson, Darren Criss
Production company: Centropolis Entertainment, Starlight Culture