Dan Skip Allen
Midway is the latest film from Roland Emmerich. He’s had some hits and misses over the course of his career. The hits being Stargate and Independence Day. The misses have come far more frequently recently. This time out he decided to remake an American classic about WW2, Midway. It wasn’t like anybody was clamoring for a remake of the classic 1976 film starring Charlton Heston and Henry Fonda, but we got one regardless Emmerich’s style does lend itself to this kind of film though. He can get hearts racing in a movie theater.
Midway is about the 1942 battle that turned the war in the Pacific during WW2. It was a pivotal battle that helped allied forces turn the tide against the Japenese. This time around Emmerich focuses his story around 4 or 5 main characters. Ed Skrein most recently from (Alita: Battle Angel) portrays Lietenant Richard “Dick” Best, a fighter pilot who likes to take things into his own hands. He’s a little bit of a wild-man in the cockpit, but he gets the job done. Patrick Willson portrays Edwin Layton an attache to the Japanese government, but also head of strategy and code breaking for the US Navy. Woody Harrelson portrays Admiral Chester Nimits. He is in charge of coming up with a sound plan to fight the Japanese. Besides these fine actors Emmerich has assembled a great cast of character actors. Luke Evans, Mandy Moore, Dennis Quaid, Aaron Echhart and Nick Jonas all add there unique talents to a great cast.
I was pleasantly surprised with how Emmerich was able to capture the feel of being in the cockpit and going into battle in the WW2 airplanes. It was so realistic. I was on the edge of my seat because I felt these men were in real danger. Thats how realistic it felt to me. These were some of the best dogfighting scenes I have ever seen. That’s saying a lot because films like Tora, Tora, Tora, Top Gun and Red Tails did it pretty damn good. I felt like I was in the middle of these air battles. Thats a real achievement in my mind. Emmerich deserves a lot of credit for making the live action and CGI scenes blend seamlessly. That made for a much more enjoyable experience.
One of the best parts of the movie was how we got to see both sides of the story. The Japanese side and the Americans side. They were both handled very professionally in my opinion. The strategy from both sides was very intriguing to me. I have never been in the military so I have no idea what goes into making these decisions. These war rooms and discussions between the leaders of these forces felt very authentic to me. They made me believe what they were saying and doing actually happened. My hat goes off to Emmerich and his whole entire crew. I genuinely felt like I was in war with these men and I was involved in this film.
With all the war stuff also comes the family stuff. These were real men with real families. They had to make tough decisions their wives didn’t like. The wives had no choice but to watch them go and hopefully they would come back. Emmerich captured all sides of this incredible story. Midway is on par with some of the best WW2 movies I’ve ever seen. Like Saving Private Ryan, The Thin Red Line and so many more. I highly recommend this film. It has great action and suspenseful sequences along with strategic moments that balance it out perfectly. The cast is all suburb. Go see Midway today.
4 ½ stars
Dan Skip Allen