Midway 2019

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People have a right to their own opinions.  But, it is shameful how so many people are negatively criticizing this Roland Emmerich film Midway.  Worse, many are trying to say it was unfaithful to the actual battle.  Others, especially professional critics, are claiming that the performances were wooden.

These people don't understand the military mindset.  And those critical of this film's historical accuracy don't understand the Battle of Midway.

I've heard statements from people claiming that it was wrong to show no F4F Wildcats on the attacks, without apparently knowing that this film focuses on the Enterprise strikes, which had their planned fighter escort lose contact with the strike force before reaching the target area.  So, depicting first the Devastator torpedo bombers and then the SBD Dauntless dive bombers, both engaging without fighter escort, is entirely accurate. 

Moreover, comments critical of showing no Wildcat fighters on the Enterprise deck is likewise wrong, because the torpedo planes were staged and launched first, then the dive bombers, and finally the fighters -- in that order due to their respective ranges and fuel endurance.  You would not have seen fighters and bombers staged together on the carrier deck for war time launch.  Period photos taken just before the actual launches from the Enterprise shown the Devastators arrayed as just nine aircraft due to lack of deck space.  Once they were airborne, the dive bombers were quickly brought up to deck and launched.

Lt Commander Eugene Lindsey chose to sortie to the reported position alone because he was ordered by Admiral Ray Spruance to do that -- a calculated risk to engage the enemy fleet soon as possible to prevent them launching any attacks on the US fleet.  Then, Lt Commander Wade McCluskey did the same, for the same reason.  The fighters were not able to catch up to them.

This piecemeal attack plan was counter to normal doctrine, but it worked spectacularly well even though it sacrificed nearly the entire torpedo bomber force.  As the movie showed, it pulled the Japanese fighter cover down to sea level, giving the dive bombers that followed a relatively clear avenue to attack, having to deal with just the enemy artillery.

Others have claimed that the depiction of Bruno Gaido's effort to see a crippled twin engine bomber attempting to crash into the Enterprise, and jumping into a parked Dauntless to shoot down the bomber, only to have the bomber slice his airplane in half on the deck, was contrived.  It wasn't!  The film got that spot on accurate, down to the orientation of the cleaved Dauntless on the Enterprise deck.  It also accurately portrayed William Halsey's spot promotion by two grades.

Film critic Roger Ebert tried to claim the movie attempted to sanitize the nature of warfare.  He and others claim there wasn't enough gore.  There are a dozen examples portrayed in this film that show up close depictions of men getting killed in action, both Japanese and American.  How many men need to be shown becoming human torches, falling to their agonizing deaths, or hit by multiple cannon and machine gun rounds, and how many charred corpses need to be shown before the message of war is firmly revealed!

Truth is that aerial fighting is often detached as you just see planes blow up and hurtle down as flaming streaks, unless  you're inside the plane about to die!  There was nothing whatsoever sanitized in this movie, and sham on Roger Ebert for leading a false narrative.

The depiction of Dick Best was extremely accurate.  He was an ace pilot, not for shooting down five airplanes, but for his extremely well honed airmanship.  Pilots like him did practice engine out and flaps up carrier landings during peacetime, leading up to the war, because they knew the experience might become vital due to war damage.

The depiction of the two carrier strikes Best carried out are very faithfully depicted, especially the first one on the Akagi, even showing how Best dealt with a mistake of too many bombers attacking the first carrier in line.  Best took himself and his other two wingmen by themselves to attack the Akagi, just as shown in the movie, including his low level dodging of water spouts, and his extremely low altitude release.

The second attack was a bit overly dramatic, but not much.  

Others claimed that the SBD was inferior and incapable of defending itself against Japanese fighters.  That is also untrue.  There are several documented cases where SBD Dauntless dive bombers successfully shot down Japanese fighters, and often they were pressed into fleet escort duty, flying without bombs, and in this role they were effective in shooting down Japanese dive bombers and torpedo planes.  This is all documented.  They were about 100 knots slower than the Zero, and not nearly as maneuverable, but for bombers, they were exceedingly agile.  This is why most naval pilots preferred flying the SBD's to flying even the Curtis Helldivers that replaced them.

The Dauntless had twin 50 caliber machine guns on top of the nose, and twin 30 caliber machine guns on a flexible mount for rear defense.  Some even criticize the movie for showing twin 30's on the rear mount, claiming that at the start of the war the Dauntless had only one 30 caliber MG on the rear mount.  Again, this is false.  The Dauntless had two such guns, while only the inferior TBD Devastators had just one.  On both scores, the movie got that detail right also.

Yes, there were no mountains to fly between on the Marshall Islands, so that Dick Best scene was inaccurate.  But. climbing into a cloud layer to escape attacking fighters was not.  

Compared to the 1970's era Midway movie, this 2019 version was vastly superior in every way.  It was more faithful to those who participated in the battle, more insightful as to the vital intelligence mission that facilitated the American ambush, and more faithful to the exact nature of the order of battle.

I am confident that nearly all actual military veterans recognize the way these characters spoke to each other, and spoke about the mission.  If some consider that wooden, then so be it!  It's more important to get the situation accurate than to resort to cheap entertainment at the expense of realism.

A well done to Roland Emmerich for producing the definitive Hollywood portrayal of this epic naval battle.  I suspect his use of CGI gave each of us the most accurate insight into what those men actually flew into, and if it seems unreal, it is because the amount of fire that an enemy fleet can throw up into the air is unreal.  And flying through it will see half or more of your aircraft being turned into flaming torches in less than thirty seconds!  Seeing that truth in this film is perhaps the most valuable aspect of this movie.  It's the only way we can truly appreciate what these men did, and then, for the survivors of the first attack, chose to do a second time on the same day to take out the Hiryu.

You cannot put that into words.  It takes a visual presentation, and Emmerich did just that.  Congratulations to him and his entire crew!
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Ken Stallings

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Posted 1 month ago

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ACT_1

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Hi! Ken Stallings

Is this your Review, Trivia, Goofs  ? ?
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Message from IMDb.com
For Problems or Questions,
please include a link to the page(s) you are referring to if possible.
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Midway (2019)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6924650/reference
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6924650/reviews - 601 Reviews
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6924650/ratings -
26,333 IMDb users have given a weighted average vote of 6.7 / 10
.
(Edited)
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Ken Stallings

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It's none of the above.  It's a commentary on what I think is unfair reaction to the movie, plus a public praise of those who produced this movie.  I posted a review separately.

Though not stated, I think the reaction to this movie is indicative to a larger trend of many fans to engage with hostility to many movies made today -- vice any earnest attempt to understand what a movie is trying to accomplish and evaluating the effort at that level.
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Ed Jones(XLIX)

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All well and good Ken.
But your not giving praise.
You are scolding everyone.
This is not the place for an outburst of this type.
This one time is OK.
But please.....Praise is reserved for something you like about the site or it usefulness and features and for the created IMDb poll going to live status.
If you wish to opine about your dissatisfaction of others nearsightedness and dislikes about their opinions......Go here.............IMDb - Home | Facebook
And if your reply is "I won't use that place" or some other excuse, then as Steve Martin would say......"Excuuuuussseee Meeeeee"
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Ken Stallings

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Oh I wrote a grand amount of praise.  Scolding everyone?  Hardly.  Scolding those who abuse the review system to grind some sort of ax?  Yes, I certainly am doing that -- and it's long overdue.

IMDb is at serious risk of finding itself a platform of abuse, more than a genuine movie review and publication website.

Consider this a well reflected upon effort to fire a warning flare to those at IMDb who might actually care.

If not, then perhaps I am the one best positioned to quote Steve Martin, wouldn't you say?  It's really a case, I think, of what does one care most about -- function or form?  If you value form overall, then yep, I violated the form rules.  If you care more about proper function,then I think I've highlighted the abuse of one really well produced movie as a singular case of something that unfortunately has become a trend over recent times at IMDb.

We will see if the IMDb staff believes something is amiss, and take steps to tone it down.  I would vote to eliminate the like/dislike polling, as that seems to have set up camps fighting each other.  Another option might be to evaluate how members rate movies and focus on those who tend to trash movies vice praise them.  It's easy enough to do, each member has his ratings trends tracked and published. 

I'm fine with well informed criticisms.  My original effort here points out ill informed criticisms.  I think there's a significant difference.  The bottom line is do people wish to temper their efforts with facts?  I think I took the time here to provide the facts, wouldn't you agree?

In that regard, the staff has to decide whether the effort here was worth the trouble.

Cheers!
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Ed Jones(XLIX)

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It's easy enough to do, each member has his ratings trends tracked and published. 
This is already done, unless the user wants them private.

We will see if the IMDb staff believes something is amiss
Staff does not usually look at "PRAISE" posts

It's really a case, I think, of what does one care most about -- function or form?
Or in your case...To censor...or...Not to censor!
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Ken Stallings

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Guess you missed the part about "everyone has a right to his opinion," and nowhere did I mention censuring reviews.  But, you sure seem to be on the outlook for negativity.  Do you always go around putting words in other peoples' mouths, or are you just making a special effort on my account?

And just to make it official ... do you speak for the staff, a part of the staff yourself?  If not, maybe you ought to let them think and speak for themselves.  Unless, you desire to put words in their mouths also.

Cheers!