“Midway”

Catharine Richards

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“Midway,” directed by Roland Emmerich, gives an overview of the first few years of the Second World War. It focuses on the events leading up to, as the name suggests, the 1942 Battle of Midway. The film boasts a star-studded cast including Woody Harrelson, Patrick Wilson, Mandy Moore, Nick Jonas and Dennis Quaid. The story primarily follows Lieutenant Richard “Dick” Best (played by Ed Skrein) and his unique leadership as a dive-bomber in the American Navy. The movie not only details the intense air and sea battle of Midway but also follows intelligence officer Edwin T. Layton (played by Patrick Wilson) and his efforts to decode Japanese plans of attack. 

Initially, I was concerned that the movie would be over-dramatized, but for all the fighting and battle scenes within the movie (which is the vast majority of the film) I found that it was not overly gory or glamourized. War movies walk that line by nature, and personally, I feel that this film did a good job. I found the characters interesting and likable throughout the film, however, I felt that there were almost too many characters to the point that I was losing track of who was who. 

The movie was well cast both in terms of physical likeness and character traits, as these actors are portraying historical figures. The screen time is well balanced between the actual battles and the challenges facing the team of code-breakers on land. This provided a historical timeline that was reasonably easy to understand. If you are not one for intense movies this may not be your cup of tea, but if you are intrigued by action, history or both, I would recommend this film.