Midway has no sense of reality, and for a war film, that is the key element
The last thing cinema needed was a Roland Emmerich version of Pearl Harbour, but that’s what it’s been given, and it’s exactly as bad as would be expected. Midway is a waste of budget and time, glorifying war at a time when that’s genuinely a despicable stance to take with aggression still moving across the planet in the way it is.
After the Japanese bomb Pearl Harbour, Hawaii, the Americans know they have to be prepared for the next attack. Working tirelessly to predict their next move, they turn to their best pilots to lead the way, and turn the tide against a very strong Japanese force.
Midway is American patriotism in its most irritating and arrogant form. Filled with men proclaiming why they need to fight, and why they need to support their country, whilst proving how great they are at being underdogs, the film is entirely self absorbed and unashamedly proud of that, failing to offer any form of interest or relief in the process.
It drags on for what seems like forever, as it reaches to be affecting and powerful, only stumbling over instead, dragging itself towards a finish line that was way out of reach when it was standing up. Midway has no sense of reality, and for a war film, that is the key element. Show your soldiers are human, and the film transforms.
Emmerich doesn’t do that in his films however, exchanging the human side for the CGI blurs he finds so useful. Filling the screen, they demand love, but in reality, all they do is put off an audience and prove how effective practical effects and genuine care have, over the modern love for computer images.
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