Blu-ray Movie Review: Midway

Roland Emmerich is known for grand movies with epic battles and explosions, huge stakes and big name talent. Enter, Midway. A huge blockbuster that’s centered on the battle of Midway. How does this epic scale war movie compare with some of Emmerich’s other work and some of the classic war movies? Find out below.

WHAT’S IT ABOUT:

The Battle of Midway, which depicted the battle between the American fleet and the Imperial Japanese Navy, which was a turning point in WWII. It’s based on real life events. There is no central character the movie is focused on, rather than a big ensemble of actors who play brave soldiers in this big battle.

OBSERVATIONS:

It’s a bit of a throwback to the 90’s blockbusters. It’s grand. Lot’s of major action packed scenes involving aircrafts and fleets. It’s visually appealing. It’s very much an Emmerich movie.

As a war movie it’s alright, certainly nowhere near some epics like Saving Private Ryan or 1917. It’s on par with a movie like Pearl Harbor, not only due to the subject matter, but in terms of what it looks like and is. It’s basically Pearl Harbor if it was made today.

The set and costumes look great. Have a definite feel of the era.

The story itself is interesting, but the focus is on the action and explosions, rather than the characters. There story would have been a lot different with a different director. Could have been a serious war drama, but it’s a lot more about being an action movie.

ACTORS AND CHARACTERS:

Midway is loaded with top name talent. It’s a long list of stars. Woody Harrelson, Patrick Wilson, Dennis Quaid, Mandy Moore, Luke Evans, Ed Skrein, Aaron Eckhart and even Nick Jonas. That’s not even all of the recognizable names. When it comes to talent and big names, that’s the least this film is lacking.

I actually enjoyed the names of some of these characters, such as William “Bull” Halsey, Jimmy Doolittle, Bruno Gaido, those are some terrific memorable names. Even though this is a deep roster of talent and screen time must be shared among them, there are some colorful characters among them.

WAS IT ENTERTAINING:

If you’re into big budget, loud blockbusters, then this is a movie for you. It’s got a ton of action. I found it fun and entertaining for that matter. Emmerich has a particular style for visual and audio flair in his movies. Don’t expect a slower dramatic war film, because this isn’t the one.

SHOULD YOU SEE IT:

I enjoyed the visuals and action. Great roster of talent. Those elements make it a worthwhile watch. The story is based on real events so that’s historically significant in that aspect. It’s an interesting story and introduces you to some heroic people that made a difference. It’s a very significant battle that had a big ripple effect on WWII and America.

BONUS FEATURES (4K UHD, BLU-RAY, DIGITAL):

  • Audio Commentary by Roland Emmerich
  • “Getting It Right: The Making of Midway” Featurette
  • “The Men of Midway” Featurette
  • “Roland Emmerich: Man on a Mission” Featurette
  • “Turning Point: The Legacy of Midway” Featurette
  • “Joe Rochefort: Breaking the Japanese Code” Featurette
  • “We Met at Midway: Two Survivors Remember” Featurette
  • Theatrical Trailer

Lots of good features. My favorite were “Getting It Right” feature. It documents the making of the movie. “The Men of Midway” gives you an inside look at the key characters in the movie and their impact. Overall, very good list of bonus features that’s worth checking out.

Blu-ray ‘MIDWAY’ Score: 75%

GENRE: Action, Drama, History

RATING: PG-13

RUNTIME: 2 hr 18 min

MIDWAY arrives on Digital February 4 and on 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack (plus Blu-ray and Digital), Blu-ray Combo Pack (plus DVD and Digital), DVD, and On Demand February 18 from Lionsgate.

Written by Jim Alexander

Jim Alexander hails from Chicago where he started his journalism career as a film critic and founder of the Chicago Independent Film Critics Circle (CIFCC). He's a Rotten Tomatoes approved critic. Jim founded Reel Talker as a platform to share his love of movies and entertainment. Jim's favorite part of being a journalist is getting to meet and interview actors, filmmakers and entertainers. Jim is a host and on-camera personality for AfterBuzz TV. Aside from his work with Reel Talker, he's the site owner of the Bachelor Universe website, where he recaps and talks about all this ABC's 'The Bachelor'. He also runs the Reel Talker Podcast that can be found on iTunes. In his free time he enjoys attending sports events and playing in recreational leagues. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

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