Most movies that dwell on World War II or the Vietnam War are very bloody and spend more time on the injuries and shooting and such and make it into a bloody mess.
This year’s release of “Midway” was more about the United States’ side of things, and although there is shooting and bombing and of course some of the horrible injuries that go with war, this move was done in a very tasteful manner that makes it suitable for young adults and even families.
Earlier versions of the movie also titled “Midway” or “Tora Tora Tora” also seemed to tell more of the Japanese version of what happened and how the Battle of Midway was according to a different plan, and not about the way that the U.S. government was trying to interpret what was going on at the time. This was a very controversial time for our country and came directly following the attack on Pearl Harbor, when the country was in disbelief that it had happened at all.
The Navy was in disarray and was trying desperately to get back on its feet and get ships afloat and working to help protect our country.
This “Midway” was different and showed how we rebounded and used our own dive bombers in a way to be as effective as the Japanese. Some of our pilots actually acted as if they were on their own suicide missions, knowing that they were the last line of defense or the Japanese would have had a clear line of attack to the West Coast of the United States.
This version shows the personal ordeal of command of the individual squadrons of planes and the internal discussions between admirals who were trying to figure out from limited intelligence reports how to best present a defense that was also going to be an offense that would turn the tide of the earlier attack on Pearl Harbor.
The cinematography here is spot on and took you on those dives from directly above the Japanese aircraft carriers to a spot just feet above the decks before the pilots released their bombs to do their destruction to the carriers blowing up and preventing the Japanese pilots a place to land their own planes.
It showed how both the Japanese and U.S. fleets were built around the aircraft carriers and how important those ships were to the success and power of the fleets themselves.
Up close shots of the air scenes and the dogfights between the Japanese and U.S. pilots are well done and the shots of the Japanese gunners on board their fleet of ships trying to protect against the dive bombers were exceptional and well worth the price of admission.
As a factual and educational type of movie, only time will tell the lasting effect of this version but for the entertainment value that it offers it is a very good production.
I would give the movie an A- or B+ rating and it is even good enough to visit a second time just to make sure that I got everything out of the movie that it had to offer.