Midway (2019) A Review

I can’t attest to its Historical accuracy, but I can say that for a war film, it was pretty engrossing. 


DIRECTOR:  Roland Emmerich

STARRING:  Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, and Woody Harrelson


GENRE:  Drama, War

RUNTIME:  138 Minutes

★★★ 3.5 Stars  

Midway is a war film.  It may be a bit sensationalised and dramatic, but it is at it’s heart a war film. Which means that I went into it expecting it to not really be all that engrossing and to focus on a bunch of macho men, overcoming insurmountable odds etc. etc.  And to a certain degree, I was right.

After the attack on Pearl Harbour, a huge naval intelligence failure, the US armed forces are scrambling to work out the next moves that Japan are going to make, in order to protect the West coast and contain the war in the Pacific. Through the genius of the intelligence operatives, they work out the next Japanese target is Midway.  Against all odds, while vastly, hilariously, outnumbered, a group of brave men prepare to defend the US, against Japanese forces.

I can only comment on the story in the way that it makes for engrossing watching,  I don’t know how accurate it really is, in the UK, this isn’t something that we are taught about, however in a purely cinematic way, the story is amazing, I was on the edge of my seat the entire time, and breathed a sigh of relief at the end. 

This frankly outstanding cast, though obviously playing exaggerated stereotypes of the people they are actually meant to portray, excellently present the characters.  It would have been hard to go wrong with this bunch of actors in the fray, and thankfully, they all do a great job of bringing their respective characters to life. 

For me where the film fell down was in the dialogue and the visual effects.  

At times it appeared to me that the cast were performing in front of a very obvious green screen, and yes I know they weren’t actually up there flying around in planes, but effects of this time can be so much better, that these second rate effects were all the more disappointing.  Especially considering the dogfights were the most thrilling parts of the film, I didn’t want my attention torn away, because I was focussed on a crappy green screen. 

Then as previously mentioned, the other thing I was less keen on was the dialogue. At certain times it was clunky and reminiscent of the war films made in the 50s and 60s were everything was a about bravado and being melodramatic.  It was a waste of these actors talents at times to make them read such uninspiring dialogue.

Little hiccups, but by no means a misfire.  I would recommend this to war film/history fans for sure. To me it’s negatives did not outweigh its positives.

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