Small Screen Reviews
What’s It About?
The true story of the epic naval battle in the Second World War between the United States and Japan as they fought for naval supremacy following Pearl Harbor.
Who’s In It?
Ed Skrein (Deadpool, Alita: Battle Angel, & more recently Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil)
Patrick Wilson (Watchmen, Insidious 1-3, & more recently Aquaman)
Other notables include:
Woody Harrelson (Cheers, True Detective, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, & more recently Zombieland: Double Tap)
Luke Evans (The Hobbit, Fast & Furioius 6, Beauty & The Beast, & more recently Ma)
Director: Roland Emmerich (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow, & more recently White House Down)
Seventy seven years after the momentous events at Midway, director Roland Emmerich revisits that defining US naval battle with an all star cast and a large war chest for his special effects. Based on the true events following the devastating events at Pearl Harbor, Midway charts the epic clash between the remaining United States naval fleet and the Japanese as they fought for supremacy on the sea.
The film itself follows multiple storylines including gung ho pilot Dick Best, who, predictably, is “the best goddam pilot” among other clichés, and he has a running feud with Lt Commander Wayne McClusky, while under the watchful growl of Vice Admiral Halsey.
Meanwhile back on land, the President has tasked Admiral Nimitz with heading up naval strategy, while he in turn relies on what appears to be by far the most interesting character in intelligent officer Edwin Layton and his crack team of code breakers.
Unfortunately due to the size of the cast, few people get much time to shine, with the majority reduced to one dimensional characters: cocksure pilot – check, antagonist – check, growly commander – check, hardworking stressed out deskman – check, and anxious underwritten wives – check.
Those who do get time on screen, are really weighed down by some terrible dialogue, so despite the all star cast, Ed Skrein, Luke Evans and Woody Harrelson struggle with clichés, while Patrick Wilson and Mandy Moore are woefully underwritten, and you would think Dennis Quaid was in a separate werewolf film as he is reduced to endless scratching and growling, with little more to do.
Fortunately the action soon takes precedence, and in this respect the Pearl Harbor action scenes, and the subsequent dive-bombing sequences are pretty thrilling and tense, but sadly a lack of character development makes it hard to get too emotionally invested in anyone.
In A Nutshell:
As with previous Roland Emmerich projects, big set pieces are not enough to paper over a woeful script.
The huge set pieces including Pearl Harbor
The woeful dialogue, which is riddled with clichés
The one-dimensional characters
Release date: 09/03/2020
Certificate: 12 / 12A