Roland Emmerich’s cinematic telling of the Battle of Midway (a skirmish that marked a massive turning point in World War II) is a big, loud and extremely dopey action movie — one that feels like an ugly throwback to the trashy, late-’90s Hollywood disaster epics that launched the director’s career.
While the film certainly isn’t lacking in patriotic symbolism, Midway seems to have little concern for giving real-life vets any personality or motivation outside of the few Hollywood archetypes it feels so intent on repackaging. Screenwriter Wes Tooke (USA’s “The Colony”) has provided Emmerich with just the right amount of clichés and machismo with which the Independence Day director has always been obsessed. Sadly, the inherent intrigue that comes from such a harrowing true story becomes lost in the film’s endless shouting and explosions.
The supporting cast is a Who’s Who of big names — ranging from Woody Harrelson to Nick Jonas — and, in most cases, a cast like this would be the film’s one saving grace. However, most of the actors are forced to spout expository gibberish or deliver cringe-inducing one-liners while standing in front of poorly lit soundstages or green screens with completely unconvincing CGI.