On the morn of December 7th 1941 Japan attacked Pearl Harbor and awoke a sleeping giant. That’s where “Midway” begins and follows an intelligence officer, pilots, and commanders of the US and Japanese militaries and goes through the battle of Midway. In contrast to “Red Tails” I would call “Midway” a modern war movie where they show some of the war from the Japanese perspective. Don’t get me wrong, this is a film about the Americans and they are the heroes, it’s just that Japan isn’t just some pure evil enemy.
There are a couple great successes in “Midway”. First the HDR is superb and is particularly striking in the explosions. I disagree with those that criticize the film as looking too perfect and too detailed for reality. If you love the 35mm film grain look, I can understand why you wouldn’t like this digitally shot movie, but that’s not me. I don’t hate film grain, but I’ve never found myself wanting more. Second the audio mix is outstanding and rivals “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” for my top spot in theatre experience sound with planes and bullets flying all around. The bass can be a bit much at times and I considered turning down my sub, but I didn’t and nothing fell off my walls. This is a good demo to show off the power of your home theatre.
If you’re not picky about accent accuracy, then the acting is pretty good here. I don’t think there is any one character that really grabs the reigns and leads the story. It’s an ensemble and each character brings a little to the story amounting to a pretty good telling of the battle of Midway. That’s probably because nearly all the characters are based on real people - no amalgamations of a bunch of different people. There is some dramatization here, but all the historical events are true and in chronological order. This is mostly good, but it does cause a little flow breaking jumpiness around the climax of the film. “Midway” also doesn’t bring anything to try and broaden appeal. It’s pretty much straight telling catering to those interested in the history. No romance, little humour, minimal inter-character drama.
Midway has a fair amount of course language and some pretty graphic violence briefly showing people on fire after bombings.
To give a comparison to the more famous “Top Gun”, “Midway” is more battle less banter. At least “ Midway” doesn’t have the super awkward love scene “Top Gun” has. “Midway” won’t become a cult classic, but it’s solid and I like it. I give “Midway” an 8/10 when you've got a hankering to pay respect to those that fought for freedom “Midway” is a good choice.
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