“Midway” is loud and its script is clunky but represents patriotism at its best.
In a surprising turn of events Midway beat out the much-anticipated sequel to Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, Doctor Sleep at their opening weekend box office. In the same vein as many movies nowadays Midway is a remake of the original movie from 1976 starring Charlton Heston and Henry Fonda. But with time comes the advancement of many of the tools that were originally used which makes for a stunning array of CGI work that makes the movie work. While it may not have been 100% accurate at times in the history department the story is timeless and I, for one, am happy that those great wars and soldiers haven’t been forgotten.
The ensemble of actors is quite lengthy in size and in talent. Leading the pack is Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, and Luke Evans who are joined by Nick Jonas, Darren Criss, Woody Harrelson, Aaron Eckhart, Dennis Quaid, etc in smaller, but just as important parts. The movie is void of any huge female roles and I understand that it was a different time but Mandy Moore is more than capable of delivering a much better and bigger part. She shines in the scenes she’s in but those scenes are very few. I would say the standout actor to me is Patrick Wilson. I think he’s a great actor and did a good job with his portrayal of his character. Just like Moore he steals every scene he is featured in. Also worthy of an honorable mention is Woody Harrelson. Normally cast in a more comedic role I think it was a challenge for him to play this serious role and I think he did a more than okay job. He would not have been my first choice to play Chester Nimitz but I was not mad at his performance I just wish he had had a better wig… The rest of the actors’ performances, in my opinion, were on-par but not as great as they could have been with a better script. Also worth mentioning are the atrocious accents that some of these actors graced us with. As much as I adore Darren Criss and Nick Jonas they had no business attempting accents that they did. In my honest opinion I think it did more harm to the film than it did good.
I wanted to really like this movie and I did enjoy watching it but that’s not without cringing at some parts in the script. I am not a huge historian so it didn’t phase me that some parts of the movie were not factual but I was told afterward that while most of the movie was overall pretty accurate that some parts the directors and writers took creative liberty with. I was also not a huge fan of the amount of time that was spent with the Japanese. While it was fairly important to the plot I think it’s all understood what the Japanese did. That being said, the time spent with the American troops was great and very patriotic.
I last want to touch on the visual effects of the movie. While I think the movie was a bit engulfed by its visuals at some points in time I also think they were more than stunning. Considering when the original movie was first made these are a huge step-up and I can appreciate the movie. The movie would look silly otherwise.
So, if you’re looking for a patriotic movie that has pretty sub-standard acting but great visual effects this movie is for you. I also don’t think anyone out there would hate looking at Nick Jonas for almost two hours in full soldier-garb. I would recommend it if you’re a fan of these types of movies or if you’re as patriotic as the next person.