Midway (2019)

PG-13   |    |  Action, Drama, History


Midway (2019) Poster

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


6.7/10
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Dennis Quaid Honors the Real Life Heroes of 'Midway'

Midway features characters based on real people who fought in World War II. Dennis Quaid and his co-stars explain the honor of portraying those who gave everything for their country.

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29 October 2019 | 3xHCCH
8
| Account of Crucial Naval Battle in Emmerich Style
This film is a straightforward retelling of the events in the first months of the War in the Pacific beginning with Pearl Harbor and culminating in the Battle of Midway (June 1942). In between, it also touched on Doolittle's Raid on Tokyo (April 1942) and the Battle of Coral Sea (May 1942). The story was told mainly from the point of view of two American soldiers, namely pilot Lt. Dick Best (Ed Skrein) who led his dive bomber squadron at Midway, and intelligence officer Lt. Comm. Edwin Layton (Patrick Wilson) who with his code-breaker team predicted the Midway attack.

Along the way, we meet other famous American soldiers: Admiral Chester Nimitz (Woody Harrelson) Commander in Chief of the US Pacific Fleet; Vice Admiral William "Bull" Halsey (Dennis Quaid) who led the aircraft carrier USS Enterprise; Rear Admiral Raymond Spruance (Jake Weber) who took over the Enterprise for the Battle of Midway; Best's fellow aviators Lt. Comm. Wade McClusky (Luke Evans), Lt. Comm. Eugene Lindsey (Darren Criss) and Lt. Comm. Jimmy Doolittle (Aaron Eckhart); cryptographer Commander Joseph Rochefort (Brennan Brown) and Aviation Machinist Mate Bruno Gaido (Nick Jonas).

The side of the Japanese Imperial Army and their unique military culture were also given fair screen time in this film. Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (Etsushi Toyokawa) of the Imperial Japanese Navy and the Commander in Chief of their combined fleet, was portrayed with calm and quiet dignity. We also get to meet other Japanese officers and their own brands of leadership Rear Admiral Tamon Yamaguchi (Tadanobu Asano) who commanded the Hiryu with nobility, and Vice Admiral Chuichi Nagumo (Jun Kunimura) whose controversial battle decisions had negative impact against the Japanese campaign.

The execution of the critical battle scenes are the main draws to watch this film. Director Roland Emmerich will always be remembered as the man who brought us "Independence Day" (1996) and "2012" (2009). Of course, there are big explosions and massive destruction here as well. The massive scenes showing fiery exploding seacraft and aircraft were rendered with crisp cinematography and meticulous visual effects to create impressive screen spectacles. The aviation scenes, particularly the dive bomber runs by Dick Best, were excellently staged, shot and edited to elicit an exhilarating rush.

For its 2 hours 18 minute run, the story of the crucial naval battles and the heroism of its real-life protagonists were front and center here in "Midway." There were no fictional characters or cheesy love stories like in the first "Midway" film or "Pearl Harbor." While seeing some popular young actors like Criss or Jonas can be distracting, the all-star cast generally rendered honor and respect to the heroes they portrayed. Focusing on soldiers of lesser rank allowed for some intimate personal drama in actual battle situations, perhaps with not much depth as possible. As this movie is rated PG, so do not expect to see graphic injuries at the level of "Saving Private Ryan."

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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scenes of the sailors trying to get off the Arizona by climbing across a rope hand over hand are echos of a similar experience described in a book titled "All the Gallant Men". (2016) An Arizona sailor, Donald Stratton wrote the book, authored by Ken Gire. In the book, Stratton describes how a sailor, Joe George on the ship Vestal, which was moored alongside the Arizona, threw a line to the Arizona so the men could escape to the Vestal. During the rescue, the captain of the Vestal ordered George to cut all lines to the Arizona so the Vestal could move away. George refused, knowing it would mean death for the men trying to cross over. Despite threats of court martial from the captain, George maintained the line until Stratton and several of his shipmates made it to the safety of the Vestal.


Quotes

William Brockman: I'm not going to waste a torpedo on a cruiser, where are the carriers ?


Goofs

The Dolittle raiders had white panels sewn onto the backs of their flying jackets that included American and Chinese flags on the backs of their jackets, as well as Chinese text identifying them as Americans and allies. These are glaringly absent.


Crazy Credits

The end credits are played over black and white footage of the ballroom singer (played by Ana Maria Lombo who is also known as Annie Trousseau) in the Honolulu officer's club seen earlier in the film performing the entire song "All or Nothing At All".


Soundtracks

Getting Some Fun Out of Life
Performed by
Ana Maria Lombo (as Annie Trousseau)
Written by Joseph A. Burke and Edgar Leslie
Courtesy of Round Hill Music, BMG Rights Management (US) LLC, Warner Chappell Music Publishing
Arranged by Dan Reckard
Produced by Ana Maria Lombo

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Action | Drama | History | War

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