Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941; "A day that will live in infamy". It is the day the Japanese bombed American ships killings almost 2500 soldiers and caused the United States to officially enter World War II. For the next six months, the Japanese seemed to rally at every opportunity and decisively won battles against the United States. Then in the beginning of June 1942, the United States laid a "trap" for the Japanese Navy and over three days managed to destroy four of their six aircraft carriers resulting in many Japanese deaths or injuries. The Battle of Midway, as it is known, was a turning point for America. In 2019 a movie called Midway detailed the events from those six months. This week the 4K, Blu-ray and DVD will be available in stores.
The film begins a few years prior in 1937 where Naval Attaché Edwin Layton (Patrick Wilson; Aquaman) is seen meeting with his Japanese counterpart who informs Layton that Japan will not go to war with the United States unless their oil supply is threatened. As we know, four years later, the attack on Pearl harbor sent a definitive message to the United States cause the country to enter World War II. Layton, as an intelligence officer, blamed himself because he didn't push harder with those in power despite intelligence indicating that the Japanese would attack the Harbor.
In the aftermath, Admiral Nimitz (Woody Harrelson; Zombieland) takes over as Commander-in-Chief of the US Pacific Fleet and tells Layton to push harder next time. With the help of cryptographers, Layton deduces that Midway is the next target to be attacked but the powers that be in Washington thinks it's the Aleutian Islands. Sending out false data, Layton is able to confirm Midway as the target and the US Naval fleet plans a surprise attack on the Japanese disabling much of their fleet and change the course of the war for the United States.
Midway is chock full of talented actors who make up an ensemble cast that is to be envied. Besides Wilson and Harrelson, the soldiers include Luke Evans (Dracula Untold), Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight), Ed Skrein (Deadpool), Dennis Quaid (The Day After Tomorrow), Darren Criss (Glee) and Nick Jonas (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle). Mandy Moore (Tangled) portrays Skrein's wife. They are all individually excellent but together they make a terrific cast that helps bring the action to life.
The 2160p resolution and 2.39:1 aspect ratio create excellent visuals with incredible detail. The explosions are exciting and the aircraft carriers/planes are terrific replications. The Dolby Atmos audio is even better than the video which makes use of all the surround sound speakers as machine gun fire and explosions emanate from everywhere. The 4K and Blu-ray discs both house the same extras. They are Audio Commentary by Roland Emmerich, Getting it Right: The Making of Midway, The Men of Midway, Roland Emmerich: Man on a Mission, Turning Point: The Legacy of Midway, Joe Rochefort: Breaking the Japanese Code, We Met at Midway: Two Survivors Remember and Theatrical Trailer.
Interestingly, this film offers more than just the American point of view which offers audiences another dimension to the story. Midway, however, is a little too long and can occasionally become overburdened with military strategy. For those who know little about the battle, it was an informative movie that will probably strike a chord with those how have served on an aircraft carrier.
Emmerich gives a unique glimpse of what occurred in 1942 and does so as realistically as possible without truly displaying the horrors of war. War buffs will definitely enjoy watching this version of history.