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midway

★★★

DIRECTOR: rolland emmerich (independence day)
STARRING: ed skrein, luke evans, patrick wilson and woody harrelson

 

REVIEWER: lyall carter

The story of the Battle of Midway, told by the leaders and the sailors who fought it.

Roland Emmerich and summer blockbuster are two in the same. Not only the director of Independence Day but also of Matthew Broderick’s Godzilla, 2012, and White House Down. But his return to Independence Day in its sequel didn't bring the return critically or at the box office that many hoped for. A similar fate has appeared to envelop Midway which despite its obvious flaws is a little undeserved.

 

On Dec. 7, 1941, Japanese forces launched a devastating attack on Pearl Harbour, the U.S. naval base in Hawaii. Six months later, the Battle of Midway commences on June 4, 1942, as the Japanese navy once again plans a strike against American ships in the Pacific. For the next three days, the U.S. Navy and a squad of brave fighter pilots engage the enemy in one of the most important and decisive battles of World War II.

 

Midway is a story that I was very unaware of and one that begs for the big screen treatment. The story starts out promising with a scene between, pre Pearl Harbour and WWII, Japanese and American diplomats. But it then descends into an over bloated, slightly cheesy, CGI popping confused film.

 

There is way too much exposition, too much time given explaining what's going on which we can see unfolding before our eyes anyway. It’s as if the filmmakers couldn’t quite decide whether this was a movie about Pearl Harbour or Midway - way too much story crammed into such a short running time. 

 

The vast majority of the battles appear to be CGI and after a while the weightiness of the battle is lost in all of that CGI. Midway is a film that is swimming with so much talent with a huge and varied ensemble cast. 

 

Despite its missteps and too much story crammed into it Midway is a perfectly serviceable WWII film

★★★