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Midway

‘Midway’ was previously filmed in 1976 with Charlton Heston as the lead doing big business. The curiosity in all facets of World War 2 never-ending. Decades later, it still has an allure no matter how grim the subject matter. This version attempts to emulate the bravery and determination of those involved in the arduous battle. Unfortunately it only provides a modicum of war-time verve with all the substance of a Wikipedia page.

After their bombing of the American naval base Pearl Harbour in 1941, the Japanese military switch their focus to the Midway Atoll. A strategic outpost for the American army, the U.S. soldiers try anything to stop this invasion. Among them are Lieutenants Best (Ed Skrein), Layton (Patrick Wilson) and McClusky (Luke Evans). Ready for an aerial and sea assault, they use all their might to oppose the deadly advancing forces.

Directed by Roland Emmerich, who oversaw films such as ‘Independence Day’ and ‘2012’, ‘Midway’ has the feel of those overblown epics. Despite the compelling subject, the story has little depth, offering only sketchy characterization. There’s barley any passion seen, although the glimpses of military tactics and reasoning on both sides provide interest.

It wouldn’t have been so bad had ‘Midway’ been filled with great performances, sadly there are few. Even usually reliable actors like Woody Harrelson and Dennis Quaid can’t do much with material filled with risible dialogue. Everyone looks very pretty with the bombastic musical score going full tilt. The only saving graces are the CGI and action sequences which are top notch and occasionally genuinely suspenseful.

‘Midway’ is a mediocre entry in the ‘How America Won the War’ genre. Lots of flag waving, chest beating and speeches are present in a formulaic script. It’s all a bit cheesy and does a dis-service to the men and women who fought so valiantly in an oft-told battle.

Rating out of 10: 3

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