Don’t waste your time seeing this film. If you want to see a fascinating depiction of this World War II battle, then go see the original one released in 1976.
As a lover of history, I learned long ago that the Battle of Midway, which took place June, 1942, helped the United States regain its pride lost in the Pearl Harbor disaster. However, as noted above, if you want to see the film that captures the drama and intensity of this three day battle, then go see either Battle of Midway, a documentary released by John Ford in 1942, or the original 1976 film.
First of all, Mr. Ford was actually on Midway Island when the battle began. As he filmed the Japanese fighters bombing the island, you hear explosions throughout this poignant documentary. On top of that, Ford was actually injured though he was to recover.
The 1976 film puts the present release to shame. Unfortunately, nearly all of the characters in Director Roland Emmerich’s movie are sadly one dimensional and I found it profoundly annoying that many of the male actors are seen with protruding lower lips for unknown reasons.
On top of that, most of the women in this film appear with dark hair, red lips and wearing the same red, flowing gowns at home as they meet their husbands. All of this left me shaking my head as I wanted to yell out “Cut the crap and get on with the battle!”
Though the battle scenes were the high point of this film, it still doesn’t compare to the drama and sophistication of the 1976 film directed by Jack Smight. For example, wouldn’t you rather see a film starting Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, James Coburn, Glen Ford, Robert Mitchum, and Hal Holbrook rather than one starting Luke Evans, Patrick Wilson and Dennis Quaid?
While the talented Woody Harrelson plays Adm. Chester W. Nimtz in the most recent release, even he pales in comparison to Henry Fonda’s performance as that legendary navy hero. Regardless, the 1976 film has far more sophistication and depth, so leave the recent addition to die slowly on the big screen and hunt down my recommendation at home.
Let me close with a reference to the Pearl Harbor attack. My father was a World War II veteran and I joined him and my mom in Hawaii in the late 1980s as we visited my brother who was stationed there as a marine helicopter pilot. When we visited the memorial where you look down on the battleship Arizona, which still lies under water, an event occurred that I will always treasure.
More of the point, when we traveled by boat to the memorial, there was a large contingent of Japanese visitors seated with us. As my brother and mother stood with me looking at the large marble wall which contains all of the names of the dead Americans who still lie submerged, I noticed that my father was not standing with us. As my brother and I look quickly to find him, we saw him leaning over the rail looking down at the smoke stacks of the Arizona.
As I approached him alone, I noticed that the Japanese families were standing near him as they were smiling and taking pictures of each other. Reaching my father, I asked him “What in the hell is wrong with you, old man?” Glancing at me with a frown on his face; he looked under his arm at the other visitors as he said, “Sneaky little bastards!”
As I grab him with a smile on my face, I said “Shut up! Now, let’s join mom so she can remind you that it is time that you forgive and forget.”