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Midway Movie Review: An Impressive Attempt at a Neutral Recollection of History

Midway Movie Review: An Impressive Attempt at a Neutral Recollection of History

Midway tells the story of the US Navy's retaliation against the Japanese following the Pearl Harbor attack.


Director: Ronald Emmerich

Cast: Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans, Aaron Eckhart, Nick Jonas, Mandy Moore, Woody Harrelson.

They say that to ascertain the right or wrong side in a war depends on which side you are on. In other words 'To each their own'. Keeping this in mind, director Ronald Emmerich and writer Wes Tooke narrate the battle of Midway as one that is about two countries serving their needs. The film is far from perfect but it's narrative from certain perspectives reveals a story that needs to be told. 

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, a number of people find themselves thrust into battle mode when most of them least expected it. Richard Best (Ed Skrein) is fuelled by his quest for revenge after the loss of an old friend at Pearl Harbor. He often finds himself at odds with Wade McClusky. While the two want the same thing, their difference of perspectives and methods often lead to cold exchanges. 

Edwin Layton (Patrick Wilson) an intelligence officer battles with the guilt that he could have predicted and done more to prepare the US navy against the Pearl Harbor attack. Chester Nimitz (Woody Harrelson) finds himself suddenly burdened with what is labelled as "currently the most difficult job in the world after Pearl Harbor."

The film begins by setting the playing field equal. It gradually goes through the Pearl Harbor attack which is seen as the actions of Japanese extremists and looked down upon by some members of the Japanese Navy itself. 

The film's pace and neutrality take a dip in the second half as it leans towards showing the brave American troops fighting against the villainous Japanese. 

Towards the climax of the film the narrative remembers and reminds that both sides of the war included people who only seek to defend their country above anything else. While the film's action sequences are commendable, it is Thomas Wander's score that adds to the excitement. 

Patrick Wilson's performance as the guilt ridden intelligence officer is probably one of the best in the film. He leaves no stone unturned in showing his struggle to correct his previous mistakes. Ed Skrein is the perfect daredevil character of the film who is seen in every war film. What makes his character more enjoyable is his attempt to instill hope in everyone around him without underestimating the stakes around them. 

Luke Evans is a delight to watch with his bold and firm demeanour. He is possibly the best man for the role. Evans' chemistry with Skrein is a key highlight of the film. Each time the two actors come together, they leave the audience with something to think about. 

Nick Jonas as Bruno Gaido makes a brief yet impacting appearance in the film. His accent and behavior throughout the film is so fitting that it feels a shame to not have seen him in such roles more often. 

Mandy Moore as Skrein's on-screen wife portrays what the other side of any patriotic soldier's life is like. Having families who worry about them day and night while striving to find happiness in their service. 

In conclusion, Midway is less of a story about a war but more about people involved in it. The film tells the story of how life goes on for the people who survive the dangers in the naval life. The film definitely has room for improvement but the filmmakers attempts and partial success of focussing the film more on the characters than the war is worth a watch. 

Rating: 3/5