Film Review: Midway

10:10 November 18, 2019
By: David Vicari

There is a lot going on in the World War II action-drama Midway and that is part of the problem. Director Roland Emmerich's movie places the viewer right in the middle of what the United States did before, during, and after the attack on Pearl Harbor. However, it largely focuses on the Battle of Midway, a turning point in the United States' conflict with Japan. The film tries so hard to encompass everything that happened surrounding the battle of Midway and Pearl Harbor that it stretches itself too thin.

Performances throughout run hot and cold. The character of Dick Best, played by Ed Skrein, actually works, as there are some decent character moments between him and his shipmates. Best functions as a window into the internal and external conflict that the film's characters are going through. When he gives pep talks to soldiers on the fence, we feel for him and the men who served in WWII. Best is the epitome of American optimism and his grit in the face of danger make him a compelling character, but Skrein's accent mars that message slightly because he sounds like a caricature of a New Yorker.

The film also depicts the randomness and chaos of aerial battle and this works, but it is no Saving Private Ryan. Those standout moments, however, do not save the film from suffering a cheesy eye-rolling effect due to the heavy-handedness of the delivery.

★★ stars (out of four)

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