Sorry to say: this movie doesn’t live up to the true events it attempts to depict. Unless you feel you must see the battle events on the big screen, this movie is better suited to DVD/streaming…in 2 or 3 months when it’s available.
To be sure, there’s plenty of explosions, bombs dropping, explosions, aerial dog fights, explosions, plane crashes, explosions,… 😉 That aspect of the movie doesn’t fail, except that it honestly gets a little redundant. (I wonder how many minutes of the movie were focused on closeups of Dick Best as he dive bombed — too many for sure.)
Where the movie falls short of it’s target, is in character development. And I mean all of it. There wasn’t a single character that had any sort of depth.
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Historically, I know the US Navy winning the Battle of Midway wasn’t just one miracle, it was several miracles. In the movie they tell us that, but we never really feel it. The story just doesn’t connect the dots in the way it should have. I’m not saying this is easy, but with a budget like this movie had there’s no excuse for not having a better script.
About The Peetimes: I managed to find 4 good Peetimes and would recommend the 3rd one. There are no battle scenes in any of the Peetimes.
There are extra scenes during, or after, the end credits of Midway. (What we mean by Anything Extra.)
Rated (PG-13) for sequences of war violence and related images, language and smoking
Genres: Action, Drama, History
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Jason Owen Author
Granted the film won’t win any Oscars, of course movies that have won oscars are not all that great either, but I disagree with a D+ rating. I mean, there were so many parts to this movie, so many stories to tell, that a lot of character development would have slowed the pace even more. I mean, I see your point but this was a massive story to tell! And they cut out The battle of the coral sea! I say the movie should get anywhere from a C+ to a B! Then again, I’m just a Historian not a movie critic and that’s life in a free society! We can disagree and still be friends., at least for another year! Lol
Dan Gardner Administrator
Hey Jason. Thank you for taking the time to read and comment on my review. You’re right, there is a LOT of story to tell here. Way, way more than can be done in a feature film. I think the writers should have decided on either making the film much longer, perhaps even a trilogy of movies, and giving all events and characters the time and detail needed, or cut way back on how much of the history should be included.
For instance, the Doolittle mission is amazing and deserves much more than the cameo like treatment it got; it had little bearing on the events at Midway and if they cut that out entirely they could have spent more time developing other characters and events.
I was a history major in college — Northern Arizona University. What interests me isn’t the “what” of what happened in history, but the “why” of what happened. I think Midway did a lot of what, and not enough why.
Still friends? 🙂
Jason Owen Author
Of course still friends!
I agree there could have been more movies, or longer movies, to flesh out events and people. Perhaps like you said a trilogy! I’d say a 3 hour picture on “The Pacific Theater” that includes Pearl Harbor, the Doolittle Raid and then ends with the Battle of the Coral Sea (many people call that last one a win but it was actually a draw!) Midway was our first real taste of victory! Maybe the second movie in the series was just about Midway to Saipan or Iwo Jima and the final film was about the usage of the atomic bombs and the end of the war. The problem is characters! Having people who served in all those campaigns the give a viewpoint to tell the story from, like the Shara’s did with Gods and Generals! They used some historical figures but sone fictional ones too, mainly for the comic relief but it worked! Lol
Dan Gardner Administrator
Now you have me all excited for a trilogy that will almost certainly never happen. 🙁
If only there were dragons in WWII HBO would make a hit series about it.
You know what I would love to know how will storytellers tell stories about WWII 50, or 100, years from now. I can only hope I’ll live long enough to know.