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.
User Reviews: This is probably the first time in over 50 years Hollywood made a solid war movie without inserting a sappy, contrived romantic sub-plot, pushing some radical political agenda, or re-writing history.
The movie is good. The dialogue is believable, natural, and convincingly delivered in almost all cases.
While no movie is perfectly accurate historically – historians don’t even agree on much, so who is to say – the few errors here are trivial and immaterial to the how events progressed. As somebody who is a buff on this period of the early Pacific war – reading every book by Prange, Lord, and many others – I was very impressed.
I went into this movie expecting the worst from Hollywood, but this was their best historical piece in generations. Even the casting seemed to echo the real people in looks and demeanor.
The Japanese point of view wasn’t neglected either. While I can’t say whether the Japanese dialogue was believable or well-delivered, by all outward appearances this acting was also top notch. The similarity between the real Admiral Nagumo and the actor was particularly striking. They made the right call in using solid Japanese actors speaking Japanese.
The accurate portrayal of the friction between the Imperial Navy and Imperial Army with Emperor Hirohito almost powerless to restrain the militarists was very refreshing. This was a very important, complex contributing factor to the war. Few outside Japan and some narrow historical circles ever learn about this dynamic.
About the worst I can say about this movie is the pace was too fast. Unless stretched into an 8 hour mini-series, I can’t imagine they could have avoided this. With my background, I could fill in gaps and context the movie seemed to miss. Others might be left confused. Even though not well-read on this chapter of history, my spouse followed the storyline without issue and really enjoyed the movie as entertainment.
Kudos to the producers, writers, actors, and entire crew. This was a job well-done and a fitting tribute to heroes like Layton and Best.