The new movie “Midway” by director Roland Emmerich is not a remake of the original “Midway”, released in 1976, that starred Henry Fonda and Charlton Heston. This film provides a new perspective of arguably one of the most complex and significant war battles in human history. After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor in December 7, 1941, the Japanese had 9 Air Craft Carriers to our 3. The Japanese had many more and higher quality planes and battleships that the United States had. After Pearl Harbor, the Japanese had a huge Naval advantage over the United States and only because of Army intelligence, right decisions of a few people and luck, the United States was able to win Midway and ultimately the war in the Pacific.
At the center of this story about a great moment in history, was Army intelligence led by Rear Admiral Edwin Layton, played by Patrick Wilson. Only due Layton’s and collaboration with a brilliant code breaker, Joseph Rochefort, the United States was able to outwit and out guess the Japanese.
As with the 1976 version of Midway and and “Tora Tora Tora”, released in 1970, this new version does a very good job of explaining the complex chess game of strategy that both sides faced from June 4-7, 1942. The logistics of being able to arm planes with torpedo’s to bomb the enemy Air Craft Carriers and Battleships, or stay nearby the carrier to defend from enemy bombers became a complex game of chicken and for Midway, the United States made more correct decisions and was more lucky than the Japanese, who lost 4 Carriers to our one, “The Yorktown”. The Japanese also lost 3057 men and the US casualties were 307.
I thought the special effects of showing the aerial battles and most importantly the dive bombing was outstanding. One can only wonder how any human being flying an airplane built in the 1940’s can aim this machine at a 75 degree angle straight into enemy fire and land a torpedo on the deck of an Air Craft Carrier and then pull away is hard to believe was even possible. Considering the number of guns aimed right at the pilot and co-pilot, it is a miracle that any of the planes that made such courageous dives into certain death ever made it through to drop the payload.
I thought the acting was very good throughout this film that included several known actors, including: Aaron Eckhart, Nick Jonas, Dennis Quaid, Woody Harrelson and Mandy Moore. As far as the low 36% ratings on Rotten Tomatoes, the special effects alone, should give this film at least a 75% rating with another 10% for great story telling about an extremely important moment in world history. Once again, the critics are wrong, and I highly recommend Midway.