Why did this movie, with one of the poorest, pathetic scripts ever birthed, soar to box office heights its first weekend? Because folks wanted pure, jingoism; director Roland Emmerich (“Independence Day”, “White House Down”), lionized the heroic tactics of the U.S. Navy on June 4-7, 1942, defeating the Japanese at the Battle of Midway; commencing with the December 7, 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor, Emmerich, plays to the gullet, why this barbarity had to be revenged. The film dims with the political process informing the “march” toward Midway Island: intelligence officer Ewin Layton (Patrick Wilson) convinces Admiral Chester Nimitz (Woody Harrelson) to scuttle Washington’s advice thus leading to the turning point in the Pacific War. The focus on two decorated officers, Dick Best (Ed Skrein) and Wade McClusky (Luke Evans), pilots, dive bombers, whose aerial acuities defy rationale, odds, gravity; gorgeously, captivatingly filmed, added momentary titillation to the scenario.
“Midway’s” battle scenes are ravishingly stunning, a prime reason for its viewership. For over 2 hours audiences were separated from the “gray” area that informs today’s universal altercations; good and bad, delineated, without a dull, murky zone.
TWO & 1/2 STARS!!
There is a minimal scene where actor Geoffrey Blake depicts legendary director John Ford fearlessly, but ridiculously filming at Midway Island. Film lovers should not miss the 2017 documentary “Five Came Back” (Netflix) highlighting five Hollywood directors: John Ford, Willian Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, George Stevens, risking their lives for patriotism.