If you liked Pearl Harbour, then you'll love Midway ... but that's not saying much.
Pearl Harbour was a posturing leaky barrel of testosterone that overflowed with commercial bluster and was most likely an insult to those who suffered from the real-life event.
Midway is more of the same, an unintentional sequel of sorts that focuses on events post-Pearl Harbour that led up to the battle of Midway.
Dick Best (don't ask), the obligatory wise-cracking gum-chewing hero (played by Ed Skrein), leads us into battle. He's the best Dick around. Yep, a real Top Gum (he doesn't ever stop chewing), a chiselled-jawed Wrigley's advert who spouts machismos like, "Let me put a 500-pound bomb right down their goddamn smokestack."
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Behind him all the way is, of course, his dutiful wife (Mandy Moore), Woody Harrelson's silver-wigged Admiral Nimitz and a supporting slew of military archetypes who head off to save the Pacific and the Free World.
It's writer Wes Tooke's first crack at a feature film. It shows. His screenplay would make a Baz Luhrmann film feel wooden, with a robotic script that brims with needless exposition.
There is so much "tell and also show" going on that Tooke has seemingly dropped his own 500-pound word bomb down the goddamn smokestack of this film. Fool of a Tooke!
To be fair, this heaving special effects-laden extravaganza is everything you'd expect from a director such as Roland Emmerich. He's the one responsible for patriotically gouging our brains out with Independence Day and White House Down among other "God Bless America" middle-of-the-road block-busters.
Midway is all that and more, and you'd be fairly naive if you went in expecting anything else. In fact, Emmerich's bombastic eye-candy may indeed be the perfect foil for Tooke's mechanical script—it's almost admirable how the duo have achieved peak-brain-dead-commercial-crap.
It's a "himbo" of a film; handsome to look at but not much above deck. Unfortunately, Midway treats it audience similarly.
Cast: Ed Skrein, Luke Evans, Woody Harrelson, Mandy Moore
Director: Roland Emmerich
Running time: 138 mins
Rating: M, (Violence, offensive language & content that may disturb)
Verdict: An overblown and corny theme-park ride.