Midway as bad as the reviews?

I was excited to hear there was a new Midway movie coming out. Sadly, it is got a 42% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Anyone, seen it. After the godawful Pearl Harbor, I’m not sure I can take another botched Hollywood history.


There’s no way a movie “inspired by true events,” but named after one specifically, could end up being anything but 100% trash.

You are my hero, Menzo!

Certified Hollywood garbage.

There was another thread here that I posted in the other day after seeing the movie. Here’s what I wrote there for whatever my thoughts on it are worth.

Saw it this afternoon, better than Pearl Harbor for whatever faint praise that might be (the melodrama in that just sinks an already not good movie).

Midway is definitely not a Good Movie in the classic sense, but as a quasi throwback to the kinds of war films you saw in 1946 or so, I appreciated it on some level. If you told me they had created a fully CGI Van Johnson and Audie Murphy to star in this movie, I wouldn’t have been surprised. I used to watch those old WW2 movies a lot as a kid because my father stopped channel flipping the moment he came across one. Midway feels like it shamelessly steals from all the movies AMC shows on a Veterans Day weekend marathon. Some of the CGI is a little weak tea, some of it is pretty solid, and it tries to squeeze in as many factoid nuggets as it can from 1937 until the character summaries that tell you where everyone ended up after the story ends. It’s not trying to be campy in any way, it’s just trying to be “the lead is straight out of Jersey and his best friend is as southern as a chiseled jaw can get.”

Again, not a Good Movie ™, but it brought me back to some of those old flicks I used to stumble across with my Dad back in the day.

Thanks it sounds like given my love of WWII in the Pacific worth catching on matinee but, I certainly can wait for it to Stream somewhere.

Definitely. I get the bad reviews and they aren’t wrong, it just clicked with me in a way. I feel the were trying for something specific, good or bad, and they sort of got there. But I wouldn’t rush out to pay money for Midway.

I was just wondering about this. I guess I can wait till it comes to home video.

This reviewer hated it. Haven’t seen it. This line from the review caused Coffee-spit laugh:

“Visuals and sound were so unconvincing that the sudden emergence of Optimus Prime from a Hawaiian volcano shouting, “USS Arizona, roll out!” would not have come as a surprise.”

So is there a thread for the movie “1917”. I saw the trailer attached to that review and it looks awesome.

Ooh, I forgot about this one. As a WW2 aviation nut I was so excited when I saw the previews.

Then I saw this thread and read the review linked above. Oh no!

Fortunately, it has been reviewed OK (not great) at other places. It’s at 42 on RT with 92% positive from audience. I might sneak out today to watch it, but just a reminder for myself not to hinge too much of my movie decisions on just one review.

I guess I don’t need sparkling dialogue mixed with my Airplane pron. Hell, masks covered the pilots faces anyways.

Back on board, with expectation tempered.

There is!

I really, really loved this movie. I liked it better than TLJ, and I am a big SW fan.

The tone just clicked with me; it’s still recent, but I would tentatively put this as my second favorite WW2 film, just behind Saving Private Ryan and just ahead of Thin Red Line. Certainly the most enjoyable WW2 film I’ve ever seen.

It’s fantastic from an aviation porn standpoint. Where else are you going to see Dauntlesses and Devastors in action?

The CGI is excellent., and really gives a feel for the combat.

Aviation nut nitpicks:

  • Biggest issue: No wonder the bombers were decimated, because in whatever alternate universe Midway takes place in, the Navy and USAAF have no fighters. Didn’t see a single Wildcat. Just unescorted SBDs and TBD.
  • These things spew bullets like X-wing fighters. Whoever did the CGI selected “unlimited ammo” in setup.
  • The density of planes was stupidly high.

The 70’s Midway was a better depiction of the battle. But this one was fun to watch.

In the actual battle the torpedo bombers and dive bombers went in unescorted and at different times. The Japanese fighters however were down low taking out the torpedo guys when the dive bombers located the Japanese fleet, making it easier for them.

There were about 85 Wildcats (and a few Brewster F2A Buffalos on Midway) involved in the battle, both flying with the bombers and flying CAP over the carriers. The Wildcats didn’t have great success – 10 planes from one squadron had to ditch after running out of fuel, three Midway-based Wildcats faced over 30 Zeroes, and many Japanese bombers got through to attack the American carrier group.

But the battle most definitely did involve fighters too, even though it was the Dauntlesses that single-handedly won it.

I mean, just look at this scene:

It helped that up until then in the movie, the USA had been getting completely destroyed. It made it seem like at any second, the character “Dick Best” would be getting shot to shreds and it was uncertain whether there was really any hope of winning the war. Like, everything they had tried had failed in a visceral way, except for the Doolittle raid. Torpedoes fail to explode, entire flights of glide bombers get shot down like swarms of flies…

The simultaneous pan and tilt into the 90 degree dive is excellent, as well as that it seems to go on forever. The reference frames are relatable, as it’s easy to imagine being 1,600 feet off the ground. The action also comes at a completely unexpected moment as it’s the first time you see the planes do anything like this.

It may have been the toke I had ahead of time but this was dizzying, got my heart pumping, and made my spirit animal fist-pump. It was a treat absorbing it on a big screen in a way-back recliner, and I would definitely go again.

Okay, that was pretty hawt.

I mean, really, this can’t be any worse than the Mario van Peebles USS Indiannapolis, which opens with a whole mess of random CG of planes flying around battleships shooting AAA fire and then cuts to a shot of Nicholas Cage as a ship’s captain yelling “Fire!” Because anyone who’s seen Star Trek knows that’s what ship captains actually do. Otherwise, how would the crew manning the AAA guns know when to fire?


I thought this movie was poorly assembled and had a lot of bad lines, but it was also pretty sweet. The beginning and the Doolittle raid were both better than in the Pearl Harbor movie.

I’d appreciate if someone could explain why the aerial combat was so much more satisfying to watch in Dunkirk than in Midway, though. I can’t put my finger on it, although I think part of it is Dunkirk’s camera never shows the perspective of the Lutwaffe or even positions the camera behind them; it’s always RAF face or cockpit view, behind a Spitfire or from the view of a British soldier. Midway seemed equally likely to put the camera behind a pack of Japanese or American planes, and during dogfights it would often put the camera in front of an American plane looking backwards at the plane and the Zero tailing it. But I don’t know why that difference would have that effect, if it even matters.

Didn’t Dunkirk have some footage of actual model planes? Maybe it provides a better base than straight CGI?

Edit: rc models and some real planes.