It all started with an earlier attack on Pearl Harbor in December 7 1941 during World War II. In the aftermath of that event, the Japanese operation set out to eliminate the United States as a strategic power in the pacific. It was a fight for domination.
The air and sea battle was brought to screen by Roland Emmerich, the same man who produced Independence Day: Resurgence. Midway tells the story of soldiers and aviators who helped turn the tide of the World War II during the Battle of Midway which happened in June 1942.
The screenplay by Wes Tooke weaves in different real-life characters such as officer Edwin Layton played by Patrick Wilson, Admiral Nimitz played by Woody Harrelson, Richard ‘Dick’ Best played by Ed Skrein, Wade McClusky by Luke Evans, Vice Admiral ‘Bull’ Halsey played by Dennis Quaid and also Liutenant Colonel Jimmy Doolittle played by Aaron Eckhart.
In a prologue set in 1937, the audience is introduced to Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto (played by Etsushi Toyokawa) who gave away warnings to Edwin Layton, an American naval intelligence officer about the Japanese’s next gambit. The top guns initially ignored the warnings but soon, the Americans go into the battle of Midway.
Heavy fire, gunfire, dive-bombing airstrips, hardcore battles in the sea and air is an effective reminder of the courage it took to fight the World War II. Through the eyes of an audience, when cameras are inside the cockpit, it can be quite an immersive experience. But critics argued that Emmerich had gone overboard with the CGI when viewed particularly up close.
One of the more exciting scenes in the film is when the director puts the audience in the seat of Dick Best. This naval pilot is one who takes chances often risking his life (and his co-pilot’s life) repeatedly. He’s got a cowboy attitude who won’t quit and often butt heads with Lieutenant Commande Wade McClusky. Despite his cocky attitude, the man’s bravery is indisputable, and behind all that, he is a loyal and loving husband to his wife who is quite the tough cookie herself played by Mandy Moore.
Nick Jonas who played Bruno Gaido also had a supporting role in the film. Although his part wasn’t portrayed in a lengthy amount, he was described as a courageous sailor.
There were parts of the movie that felt slow and draggy, but at the end of the day it served as an effective reminder of how much courage it took for these men to fight for their country’s freedom.
It serves as a slice of history, unfolding the psychology of the battle. Plenty of soldiers and young men perished as they shot out of the sky or got bombed with firepower. It makes us wonder what it was truly like for their families back home, waiting in agony to find out the state of their loved ones fighting at war.
Midway has been released in cinemas in Malaysia and is set for release today (Nov 8) in other countries.