MIDWAY centers on the Battle of Midway, a clash between the American fleet and the Imperial Japanese Navy which marked a pivotal turning point in the Pacific Theater during WWII. The film, based on the real-life events of this heroic feat, tells the story of the leaders and soldiers who used their instincts, fortitude and bravery to overcome the odds.
The belligerent and disrespectful attitude of Lt. Best strains credulity. This was the 1940s, not present day, and he was an academy-trained officer rather than an enlisted malcontent. One doesn't get into Annapolis unless they are recommended by a member of Congress or the son of a Medal of Honor recipient. No superior officer would have tolerated even the slightest bit of backtalk as such a thing would undermine the team and serve as a direct threat to their lives. Never would such an officer behave in this way. He would be lucky to make it through his first year at the academy. See more »
Layton, how reliable are these estimates of the Japanese positions?
They represent our best guess based on the intelligence that we have.
I can't plan around your guess.
Chester W. Nimitz:
I understand that we're asking the impossible but we need you to be specific.
[sighs, pauses a moment]
The Japanese will attack on the morning of June 4th from the northwest at a bearing of 325 degrees. They will be sighted 175 miles from Midway at 0700 local time.
Chester W. Nimitz:
I trust Layton and his team. Make your plans accordingly.
Chester W. Nimitz:
[...] See more »
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". See more »
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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