Not every historic event should get a movie, apparently, if they're going to be as bad as "Midway." Everybody involved deserves much, much better, including the real-life soldiers that this film is based on.
The Battle of Midway was one of the most important during World War II. Less than a year following the disastrous attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, American troops attacked by air and by sea the very fleet responsible for Pearl Harbor, and it was considered a great victory for the Allies, and one of the most impressive feats in the history of naval combat.
It's estimated that over 300 American soldiers were killed in the battle, compared to over 3,000 Japanese casualties. And even though it was an offensive in the middle of the Pacific Theater, the major blow to the Japanese was not just in the naval fleet that was wiped out, but in how its air force was all but demolished.
Too many Hollywood movies, it seems, focuses on the German portion of World War II, so it feels like a fresh story to retell to modern audiences. Sadly, "Midway" goes with a PG-13 version of warfare, which can't begin to portray the real stakes involved when soldiers put their lives on the line. There's really no on-screen deaths or real bloody violence...this is on the opposite end of the cinematic spectrum from the gritty-realism of a film like "Saving Private Ryan." It's also the polar opposite in every other way from that film, from pacing to story to dialogue, to giving one damn about any of the characters on-screen.
Not that every war movie has to be "Saving Private Ryan," nor does it have to go heavy on blood and gore to be effective. But "Midway" feels so desaturated, so neutered of anything remotely resembling reality, that it plays like a Saturday afternoon TV movie instead of a vital retelling of history...worse yet, the dialogue is so cheesy, the acting so hammy, that this thing doesn't carry with it even an ounce of entertainment value.
Instead, it relies heavily on visual effects and CG, most of which plays as cartoonish. But at least cartoons are fun. "Midway" is truly one of the worst movies of the year, and one that will have you searching for an eject button of your own.
Genre: Action, Drama, War, History.
Run Time: 2 hours 18 minutes.
Starring: Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans, Woody Harrelson, Mandy Moore, Dennis Quaid, Aaron Eckhart, Nick Jonas.
Directed by Roland Emmerich ("White House Down," "The Day After Tomorrow," "The Patriot," "Godzilla," "Independence Day," "Stargate").
"Midway" opens in theaters on Friday, November 8th, 2019.
Looking for a specific movie or review?