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Midway (2019)

  • War History Action Drama
  • The story of the Battle of Midway, and the leaders and soldiers who used their instincts, fortitude and bravery to overcome massive odds.

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    English
  • $100,000,000
  • Description

    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.

    Midway (2019) download

    Midway (2019) download

    Midway (2019) download


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    Reviews

    If you enjoy reading my Spoiler-Free reviews, please follow my blog :) With all due respect to Roland Emmerich and to his fantastic Independence Day, his movies never quite reach their potential, ending up in constant disappointments. It doesn't matter if he has excellent casts or amazing VFX teams, his films' screenplays are almost always stuffed with narrative issues. Midway is simply another installment in his saga of letdowns. Without knowing the director, anyone who looks at this movie will feel instantly captivated. From the unbelievably talented cast to the impressive visuals, it has two attention-grabber ingredients, which can result in a remarkable film… only if the two pillars of any cinematic production are decent enough: story and characters. These are the main issue with Emmerich's movies. His characters are not compelling or intriguing enough, and his screenplays lack creativity and excitement (whether these are written by him or someone else). When I noticed that Midway had such an acclaimed cast and that it was about the Battle of Midway, I immediately got excited. War epics are a genre that I sincerely appreciate. However, when I checked who was "running the show", I instantly lowered my expectations. Honestly, it's exactly what I expected it to be: visually gripping, but emotionally hollow. I don't want to understate it. The CGI work in this film is jaw-dropping. The actual war is riveting with astonishing aerial sequences and powerful sound design. Even at a regular screening with the usual 7.1 Dolby surround speakers, the floor was rumbling with the explosions and the planes. This is why I think audiences will definitely enjoy this movie. Maybe not a vast majority, but surely most people will leave their theaters feeling it was good entertainment. It has a long runtime, and it's hard to get through the exposition-heavy story, but in the end, I bet the general public will appreciate the war action enough to give the whole thing a thumbs up. Nevertheless, it's still a very superficial flick. While it's very respectful to everyone who fought in the war (including the Japanese) and to the historic event on itself, it lacks emotional attachment to its characters. Dunkirk was praised by both critics and audiences all around the world, but its main criticism connects to what I just wrote. Christopher Nolan's film also didn't have any compelling characters. However, there's a big difference between these two movies. Both their marketing and their ultimate goal are distinct. Dunkirk was all about showing the actual war. It never marketed itself as a character-study or that it would even have a significant focus on some of the heroes that fought there. Nolan repeated several times: it's about the war and the war only. It's genuinely one of the best, if not the best, *pure* war film I've ever seen. When it comes to depicting the claustrophobic, unbreathable, restless, bloody, loud event that a devastating war is, Dunkirk is so realistic it can even become uncomfortable with just sitting in your chair (at least, I did in IMAX). On the other hand, Midway's marketing was about paying homage to "people who fought in the Battle of Midway". Hence the stellar cast compared to Nolan's just competent actors (with obvious exceptions like Mark Rylance or Tom Hardy). It spends most of its screentime trying to develop the actual people that helped win that battle, not with the action itself. Therefore, these characters need engaging scripts and emotionally resonant arcs. Wes Tooke delivers a screenplay packed with so much exposition that a lot of it looks clearly unrealistic. Characters discuss specific topics that don't make any sense of being in a conversation at a particular time and place. Throughout the runtime, there are dialogue sequences with the sole purpose of explicitly telling the audience what we need to know to understand the story, which ends up turning the narrative confusing, convoluted, and lacking faster pacing. It's tough to get through the non-action periods, and I can't even imagine how dull it would be without such an impeccable cast. Ed Skrein remarkably portrays Dick Best, the only character who's genuinely compelling and carries a complete, well-developed arc. Unfortunately, I didn't feel invested in any other character. Only the best movies of every year can have a numerous and talented cast while giving each and every actor an exciting role. Midway has too many characters for the story it wants to tell. In addition to this, it has to stretch its runtime because you can't get Woody Harrelson or Dennis Quaid playing secondary roles and not giving them more than just a couple of lines. As time goes by, Emmerich's storytelling structure gets needlessly more and more complicated to follow. It's yet another film added to the "wasted potential" list… Potential due to how truly magnificent the action sequences can be. It's undeniable that these are entertaining, gripping, and exciting. The dive bombers' scenes are packed with so much tension that I was getting more and more frustrated every time they missed their target, and a bomb went into the sea. I wanted them to succeed so bad, and this feeling can only be triggered by something extraordinary. Midway's war is as close to epic as it could be, but as with every other cinematic production, if its story and its characters are not up to par with the action, there are no outstanding VFX that can save a lousy screenplay. All in all, Midway is a respectful homage to the people who fought in the Battle of Midway, but it fails to deliver an engaging story with compelling characters. With more characters that what it needed, the runtime is stretched beyond its limit due to the numerous acclaimed actors who would never be in a movie if they didn't have more than a couple of lines. Roland Emmerich has to thank his VFX team for presenting the closest war action we could ever get of the famous battle. Truly epic visuals with tense and riveting aerial sequences, plus a powerful sound design, get your teeth biting the nails. Unfortunately, except for Ed Skrein's character, I didn't feel invested enough to appreciate the non-action moments due to the confusing, convoluted, and exposition-heavy narrative. It's a shame that a visually impressive film possesses such an emotionally dull story. However, I still recommend it for anyone who enjoys war epics and "based on a true story" adaptations. PS: it doesn’t hurt to research a bit about the Battle of Midway. I didn’t and I’m sort of regretting that now. Don’t make the same mistake. Going in with basic knowledge of what, how, and why it happened will only help you enjoy this movie more. Rating: C+

    ***Just the facts, Jack*** Intelligence officer Edwin Layton (Patrick Wilson) warns that a Japanese attack is imminent, but his advice is disregarded and the Japanese use their carrier fleet to attack Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Admiral Chester Nimitz (Woody Harrelson) swiftly assumes command of the heavily weakened US Pacific Fleet. After the Doolittle air raid on Tokyo & Honshu 4.5 months later, events lead up to the Battle of Midway on June 4–7, 1942. Ed Skrein plays cocky pilot Dick Best while Dennis Quaid is on hand as carrier commander William "Bull" Halsey. "Midway" (2019) tackles the Battle of Midway and events leading up to it without throwing in a dramatic fictional story, like the love triangle of “Pearl Harbor” (2001). While I loved “Pearl Harbor” and proudly stand by it, “Midway” chooses to stick to the facts and is thrilling from beginning to end. The main cast members are all real-life figures and there’s a tribute to each at the close. This is superior to the 1976 movie because Roland Emmerich had the CGI technology to pull off the battle scenes which take place in & above the Pacific Ocean near the atoll of Midway, which is located a little over a thousand miles west of Hawaii. The flick successfully takes the viewer right into the midst of the fight on the water, in the air and under the water. It’s exciting, horrific and revelatory. The film runs almost 2 hours and 18 minutes. GRADE: A-

    War stories are only worth retelling in film if you're doing something new and interesting with the genre. Otherwise, it's just a retread of 'Pearl Harbour' or 'Fury' or any of the dozen other thematically-empty, explosion-happy extravaganzas from the last ten years. There's a compelling, nuanced, and affecting film to be made about Midway. This is not that film. - Jake Watt Read Jake's full article... https://www.maketheswitch.com.au/article/review-midway-sound-and-fury-signifying-nothing

    Comments

    3 weeks ago

    I am a veteran and this was a hit. The special effects were good and I don't understand why people were saying it was too much. The characters were evenly played out in the movie and there was no stupid romance part that was in the last Pearl Harbor movie. It told the story amazingly and it dived right into what it's all about. You don't need too much character development to tell a story of four people during that time. It was such a great watch and I Definatley recommend it. It ranks up there as we were soldiers! It's been a long time a good war movie came out and this was it. And when you see other reviews about it's a disgrace to veterans don't listen to those reviews. Obviously they haven't been through tough times such as how these people lived. I was in live fire so I can compare. Enjoy the movie is amazing!

    3 weeks ago

    If you want to bypass the quibbles and get straight to the meat of this review, please skip to my last paragraph.The Battle of Midway is a story that's well known to most Annapolis graduates of my generation and earlier. The battle was a key inflection point in World War II, perhaps the pivotal moment changing the course of the Pacific War.Although I loved seeing Henry Fonda as Nimitz in the 1976 version of "Midway" (Fonda was to play Nimitz in "In Harms Way" as well), unfortunately, I found that movie to be surprisingly dull, historically inaccurate, unnecessarily melodramatic, and generally not very good.Because my experience is that more recent movie renderings of historical subjects usually don't improve the historical accuracy (I'm thinking of 2001's God-awful Ben Affleck "Pearl Harbor" vis-à-vis 1970's "Tora Tora Tora"), I did not have high hopes for this new "Midway."I was wrong.In short, "Midway" is a terrific movie. Not only does it get the history (mostly) right, it's a tight, elegant, and superb rendering that does the historical figures proud. It succeeds to pack way more into its 2 hour, 18 minute run length than you can imagine. It covers the attack on Pearl Harbor, the PACFLT-Washington tension & dynamic, Nimitz's ascension to command of the Pacific, LCDR Layton's contribution to the intelligence picture, Joe Rochefort's robe-wearing genius, Yamamoto's soul-searching, Halsey's tenacity, the ascendency of naval aviation, a tiny bit of the submarine contributions to the battle, and-oh yeah-the actual battle itself, to include the incredible, unbelievable jaw-dropping (but true!) heroism of our Yorktown and Enterprise naval aviators. And it does all this justice, in a superb bit of moviemaking.Can a 26-year Navy veteran like me find nits to pick on? Of course: I saw a few collar devices that weren't pinned on right (I'm talking about you, Layton!)At least one scene that is historical legend but didn't really happenThe substantially underrepresented submarine role in the battle (being a submariner, perhaps my biggest regret)Some Annapolis grads wearing their class ring on the wrong hand (tradition has us wearing our rings on our left hand, not the right)Sailors not "squaring away" their Dixie cup hats the way they would have back thenI wish the Pearl Harbor officers' club was as nice as they portrayed it in the movie!They placed a non-existent cemetery on Pearl Harbor's Hospital PointKimmel didn't watch the attack from the Pacific Fleet headquarters, he watched it from his office on the Pearl Harbor submarine base (which later became my office and is on the national register of historic places)They would not have worn their service dress khaki in the Officer's Club-- they would have worn service dress whites (chokers)The band in the O-club would have been locals not sailors (they missed an opportunity to have somebody like Gabby Pahinui playing!)But the good stuff way exceeds the nits: They got the Pacific Fleet headquarters right-- it's not the Pearl Harbor shipyard commander's buildingThey got the torpedo failures right-- torpedoes were terrible early in the warThey got the Yorktown repair in 48 hours in Drydock 4 in the Pearl Harbor shipyard right-- the shipyard rendering was near perfectThey got the code breaking room in the basement of the PACFLT headquarters right (when I was stationed there the room was being used to store furniture and I petitioned to get it on the national register of historic places)It might have been a lot of CGI, but it was really good CGI. They rendered Pearl Harbor almost perfectly. I could even make out my Ford Island house from my time as commodore, as well as a historically accurate rendering of Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard, the Pearl Harbor submarine base, and of course, the ships and planes.Something I never thought I'd hear myself say: Woody Harrelson was superb as Nimitz. He's no Fonda, but he was understated and believable, the way I've always seen Nimitz in my mind. Not a casting idea I would have thought of, but it worked!Except for the collar device issue listed above, the uniforms were exactly right for the period, from the flat shoulder boards that were being used in that era, to the beaten-up look the ship's laundry would have given Service Dress Khaki, to the way the sailors were dressed, to the way the pilots wore their wings, etc.It even brought out the fact that movie director John Ford was on Midway doing a documentary when the battle went down. The fact that Ford volunteered for the Navy, saw battle, and was injured, while John Wayne remained (in his mind) safely at home, become a point of tension between the two men, with Ford being one of the few who felt comfortable belittling Wayne for his lack of service as the years went by.I really liked the outtro mini-bios of the real characters at the end. I didn't learn anything new there, but thought they were extremely well done.In the end the 2+ hours flew by for me. It was so good, I plan on seeing it again next weekend. What a terrific way to celebrate Veteran's Day.Of course, Roland Emmerich's prior movies have been, on the whole, simpleminded blockbusters. But this time he took a risk by doing something thoughtful, respectful, accurate, and artistic. The only way to ensure movies like this continue to be made is for the public to show we care about history and accuracy, and to make this movie a success. I very much hope it does well. Then maybe we have a chance of getting the right movie made about the Indianapolis.A final thought: I've been disgusted by many of the cynical, snarky reviews written by professional movie reviewers, many of which sneer at the bravery of the warriors depicted. Yes, the dialog in this movie is sometimes simple, tired, and trite. A few of the characters are not well developed, particularly the women. It's perfectly appropriate for reviewers to criticize elements of moviemaking. One reviewer made fun of the line of dialog where Best says "This is for Pearl Harbor." There is nothing silly or unreasonable about that line. You can bet one of the pilots actually said something like that that day. As somebody who survived 9/11 attack on the Pentagon, when I later went to Afghanistan, you can bet if I had the chance to do so I would have said, "This is for Gerry DeConto," one of my friends who didn't make it out that day. But many these sneering reviewers have gone on to say to readers that because of these weaknesses, they should not see "Midway." Keep in mind that there were similar elements of Spielberg's "Lincoln" that could be considered inaccurate and/or over-the-top movie-making (most of the scenes depicted in Congress, for example), but on the whole the events portrayed in that movie are important for Americans to understand. Same is true here. So the point I want to make is this: a movie can have elements of poor moviemaking, and yet be an important movie for viewers to watch. "Midway" is one such movie. It depicts a poorly understood event in American history, but one that Americans should be exposed to. The events depicted, and the people depicted, are real. They really did these things. The bravery was real. Americans need to know this, and reviewers who have likely never risked anything in their lives should have the good graces not to sneer at those who have.

    3 weeks ago

    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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