There is something admittedly nostalgic about schlock-master Roland Emmerich’s latest film Midway. It feels like something John Wayne or Charlton Heston would have been in the 50s and 60s. The problem is this is 2019 and such a jingoistic approach feels woefully outdated and simplistic.
Midway tells the true story of the Battle of Midway during the Pacific front in World War 2. The cast is formidable with Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans, Woody Harrelson, Dennis Quaid and more. The problem lies in the clunky dialogue they are given and the complete lack of nuance.
There’s a small attempt to humanize the Japanese fighters but it still feels awkward and like they are from a different movie than the risk-taking, daredevil Americans. There’s even a scene where a captured soldier tells the Japanese to f-off as he is thrown into the sea on an anchor. Groan!
Other problems with Midway is the pacing is slow and the special effects are hit and miss. It will be interesting to see if Midway is a hit or not. There is definitely an audience for this type of simplistic nationalism but whether the marketing has grabbed their attention or not is another question.
I guess we will have to wait and see…
Does Midway interest you? If you get see it let me know what you think
3 out of 10
13 thoughts on “[REVIEW] ‘Midway’ a Movie That Should Have Stayed in the Past”
Actually, Charlton Heston made this movie in the 1970s.
Did he really? That’s funny. I guess the point stands true that this film feels like a throwback to a different time which some will enjoy. Just not for me
The Charlton Heston “Midway” film came out in 1976. A lot of the battle footage was recycled, but it was quite an ensemble cast.
Of course it lionizes the American navy and its victory, but it didn’t feel like crude “jingoistic” material. It portrayed that a lot of the factors leading to American victory came down to luck rather than American brilliance (things like a malfunctioning radio or weather cancelling a scout mission). And it certainly did not vilify the Japanese. Yamamato is portrayed as some tragic reluctant warrior (albeit his voice is dubbed by Paul Frees). Pat Morita was on hand as a sympathetic Japanese admiral. The film even drew attention to Japanese internment, but with a clumsy fictional love story.
Neat. I will definitely have to watch it at the very least to compare to this film. Will be interesting
I had to google “jingoistic”, but I’m totally gonna use that word a lot from now on, lol.
I haven’t seen the trailer for this film yet, but based on your review, I think I may probably take a pass.
Yes! I love introducing new words in my reviews Haha
Bruno Gaido, one of the crewmen featured in the film, was in fact executed by the IJN, along with his pilot.
Thanks. It’s all how things are executed in the story. You can do it with nuance or not. This was not
I’m not sure how you’d depict throwing overboard two prisoners of war, tied to weights, with or without nuance.
I can think of lots of ways 🤷♀️
Reviews of this sort are proof that the anti-idealistic pendulum has swung a bit too far. If the reviewer had read anything about the script, she’d know that just about every heroic act depicted in the movie (including cursing out the Japanese before being thrown overboard) actually happened. A real human being did that. The most apparently unbelievable Hollywood twists actually occurred.Real human beings got into outdated planes and flew out over the ocean, knowing that they were never coming back. And if she’d red anything about the Japanese Empire, (e/g/. read the ‘Rape of Nanking’) she’d put aside any notion that there was any moral equivalence between Japan and the United States. There’s a reason why the Japanese are still loathed by Koreans, Chinese, the people of the Philippines, and so on. If you’re going to review a historical movie, it’s a really good idea to learn a little history.
My job is not to be a historian. My job is to judge how the film tells the story. This script was clunky with one dimensional characters. I like many historical war movies such as Dunkirk, Hacksaw Ridge, American Sniper etc. These films drew me into the characters and effects of the war on them. This did not
I just saw it yesterday and thought “Midway” was sensational. In fact I’m going tomorrow to see it a second time….every detail was historically accurate….even the murder of two American POW’s by drowning. BTW, the film was financed primarily by the Chinese so the Doolittle raid and subsequent Japanese war crimes is not surprising. Both the character development and battle scenes were superb. I was born during WWII and the fear of a Japanese invasion of the US west coast was very real. BTW, “simplistic nationalism” is what wins wars. Check with your parents or grandparents what it was like in USA during the war, especially the year after Pearl Harbor.