72 Hours: a Review of “Midway”
It’s Veterans Day, which you know and which I mention to explain why I’m reviewing a film that has little to do with Catholicism explicitly, but everything to do with the kind of self-sacrifice Christianity, more than any other religion, has made central to its teaching and finds its strongest secular counterpart for us in those who have served our country.
German director Roland Emmerich has made the best film about Americans in World War II since Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan (1999), although not at that level of achievement. His Midway – a tense, action-filled movie that is very much better than the star-studded 1976 film of the same title – is a welcome reminder of why we celebrate those who serve.
Midway begins with the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Those sequences are good, although one is conscious of the video-game-like computer-generated imagery (CGI), partly because its execution is at times imperfect (that’s the world we live in), and partly because you know the dive-bombing and strafing Japanese Zeros and extravagant explosions and burning ships cannot possibly be live-action. Imperfect though it is, it puts you smack-dab in the action – much more so than Michael Bay’s 2001 film, Pearl Harbor.