I always appreciate a movie that is based on true events, because they are stories that more often than not deserve to be heard. Where I think these stories start to fault is not in the actual telling, but in the pieces they feel the need to add, you know, the filler. A perfect example of this would be Michael Bay’s Pearl Harbor, which for some reason decided to throw in a love triangle set to the backdrop of one of America’s biggest tragedies. As much as it didn’t work it is not an isolated incident, but has become the norm, as if a good, mostly true story is not enough to entertain us anymore.
Since we all know what they did with the Pearl Harbor story, I was taking a ‘wait and see’ approach with what they did with the other great battle in the Pacific, Midway. For those unaware where exactly Midway is, it’s a set of small islands in the Pacific that were of great importance to our Navy. After they lost most of their fleet at Pearl Harbor, the United States was trying to salvage what they cold to launch a counter strike. Knowing the U.S. was on the ropes, the Japanese started to plan the knockout punch. The plan was to take Midway and use it as a platform to eventually take the west coast of America. That plan is intercepted in pieces by Naval Intelligence and because of it, it gives the U.S. Navy the upper hand. What follows is one of the greatest days in U.S military history, as America is able to win the battle, but more importantly turn the tide of the war.
Having already been told Hollywood-style in 1976 with an all-star cast, seeing what writer Wes Tooke and Director Roland Emmerich come up with was something I was looking forward to. The good news is they don’t go all Michael Bay and throw in some love story, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have some bumps along the road. The first bump was the need to include Pearl Harbor, something that we all know happens and could have been shown from a different perspective here. After that turbulence the film starts to find its footing and begins to tell the story you came to hear. That’s the only major drop when it comes what they actually present, with only some minor annoyances along the way. Where the film scores its points is in the visual department, which with Emmerich behind the camera you expect nothing less. With the action looking as good as it does, it gives the audience something to cheer for, as you watch one of our proudest military moments in American History done better than any History Channel special. This is a telling I can get behind, more so that it is not forgotten, because stories like this need to live forever.