- Feb 21, 2013
Though not a critical success, whatever that might mean, the movie "Midway," about the World War II sea and air battle near the atoll island in the mid-Pacific, is something of a masterpiece of its kind. The battle was an ambush by the U.S. fleet of the Japanese fleet attack to take over the naval facility on Midway Islands. Code breakers were the critical element, along with U.S. admiralty and daring U.S. pilots flying outdated planes against state-of-the-art Japanese zero fighter planes. It was just that the U.S. took them by surprise, which was planned, and then picked up the interval of launching planes from the Japanese carriers, such that major ships of the attacking fleet were sunk. The battles (Pearl Harbor, Midway, and the Coral Sea) are masterfully computer generated, so you don't have to watch dodgy models or animation art. Woody Harrelson plays Admiral Nimitz and gets it just about right, violence packaged in dignified civility and shrewdness. The attack at Pearl Harbor is sufficiently horrible, with battle ships folded into churning smoke and flame. The vast loss of life on both sides is illustrated. The Japanese zeros were designed without much metal armor, so they lost pilots they could not replace. So decisive was the battle that the Japanese sequestered some of their major battle wagons for the rest of the war because they felt they couldn't afford losing them. See it. It's powerful.