Midway Movie Review: Ed Skrein, Nick Jonas' jingoistic drama is painfully loud, lacks soul & a tiresome watch

Midway Movie Review: The Roland Emmerich directorial featuring Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Luke Evans and Nick Jonas is high on visuals but fails to impress with its storytelling. Check out the Midway review below.
Midway Movie Review: Ed Skrein, Nick Jonas' jingoistic drama is painfully loud, lacks soul & a tiresome watchMidway Movie Review: Ed Skrein, Nick Jonas' jingoistic drama is painfully loud, lacks soul & a tiresome watch
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Midway Movie Review

Midway Review Director: Roland Emmerich

Midway Review Cast: Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Woody Harrelson, Luke Evans and Nick Jonas

Midway Review Stars: 2/5

Hollywood has had its share of war dramas set against the backdrop of World War II. From Saving Private Ryan and Dunkirk to Full Metal Jacket and the popcorn entertainer Pearl Harbour, there are several movies that come to mind when we talk about World War II movies. Unfortunately, Midway doesn't come anywhere close to the top of the list (or even midway of that list). The Roland Emmerich directorial has a star-studded line up to tell the tales of the Battle of Midway in the Pacific, which involved the US and the Japanese. 

Midway attempts to tell the tale of the iconic battle that turned the face of the war through the eyes of a few US bomber pilots and a few intelligence. Historically speaking, the battle was spread across three days - June 4 to 7, 1942 - but Midway felt like longer than the battle itself. The film kicks off with the attack on Pearl Harbour, back in 1941. It is obvious that the director wanted to set a runway from which the Ed Skrein starrer could take off. However, the take-off took about one and a half-hour. Skrien portrays Lt. Dick Best, a fearless bomber pilot dying to get revenge on Japan for the Pearl Harbour attack. Patrick Wilson brings to life an undermining intelligent agent Layton, who has the perfect instincts. Woody Harrelson fills the shoes of Chester Nimitz, the admiral who led the US Naval forces. Luke Evans plays Lieutenant Commander Wade McClusky. Midway is majorly told through their eyes.


The first half of the movie spends all its time establishing the premise of the Battle of Midway. Emmerich invests time to focus on the US government's strategy and Japenese's plans of attacking Midway that you feel tired by the end of the first half. You start wondering, "Will the events of the battle of Midway start now?" so many times that you finally give up and just try to wrap your head around the events played out on the big screen. In an attempt to humanise the war, Emmerich packs in several elements and subplots that results in a hotchpotch dish served. There are several subplots that seem unnecessary. For instance, an Army party where Dick's wife (played by Mandy Moore) talks him up to one of his seniors for a higher position and scenes involving a fighter pilot's death due to bad take-off during their practice session seem forced and not needed. Midway could have been told even without those elements. The 2 hours 20 minutes movie could have been chopped down by at least 20 to 25 minutes, making it a crisper watch.

If that wasn't enough, Midway is unnecessarily loud. The background score, although good, could have been done away in several portions of the movie. Though the story-telling failed Midway, the cinematography is impressive. Cinematographer Robby Baumgartner presents his best work during the battle scenes. Be it the burning of Pearl Harbour or the dive shots from the pilot's perspective, Baumgartner generates a sense of awe during the battle scenes. During the climax, Baumgartner makes you feel like you are seated in Dick's seat while Dick dives through the Pacific and brings the battle to a conclusion. Skrein helps bring life to Baumgartner's vision during the fight sequences. He stands out when he is high in the air and is focusing on the battle. Skrein, along with Wilson and Harrelson, helps keep the movie together. Harrelson and Wilson generate a sense of patriotism without rubbing it on your face.

My biggest question, however, is why was Nick Jonas there? Jonas essays aviation machinist Mate Bruno Gaido with a weird accent and a questionable mustache. The singer-actor is seen prominently in the posters and trailers. However, he has lesser than expected role to play in Midway. He doesn't bring anything extraordinary to the table.
Will I watch Midway again? No. Should you watch Midway? I would recommend you to sit this one out. If you do decide to watch it, please let me know what you think about it in the comments below. 


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