'Midway' review: Ed Skrein gives a stellar performance in this World War II drama

'Midway' review: Ed Skrein gives a stellar performance in this World War II drama

Film tells the story of the Battle of Midway, a clash between US troops and the Imperial Japanese Navy

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Ed Skrein's performance as Dick Best, a daredevil pilot is very convincing.
Photo: Lionsgate

It’s the second world war, and tensions are high between the Imperial Japanese Army and United States navy. The US is shaken when Japanese fighters bomb Pearl Harbour, destroying vital battleships and aircraft carriers. The fight over the Pacific Theatre seems like a loss for the Americans, until US intelligence operations crack Japanese information that could turn the tide in the war.

Midway focuses on the Battle of Midway, a clash between the US fleet and the Imperial Japanese Navy during the Pacific conflict of the second world war. Directed by Roland Emmerich, it tells the story of the soldiers and leaders who overcame the seemingly impossible odds through their bravery, skill, and instinct - and it does so in a gripping manner which will put the viewer on the edge of their seat at all times.

British actor Ed Skrein steps into the shoes of daredevil pilot Dick Best, and does an excellent job at playing the role of this legendary pilot during the battle. From his excellent delivery of inspirational lines to other pilots, to his captivating conveyance of his love for the skies, Skrein performs with a fiery passion which draws in the audience, adding to the impressiveness of this film. 

Other protagonists are also portrayed remarkably well by their respective actors, including the Japanese antagonists, who are played with a level of energy and gusto. However, Edwin Layton, the code-breaking analyst who reveals the vital information about Japanese operations, stands out as American actor Patrick Wilson plays him with a level of enthusiasm that sets him apart from other characters.

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What is most spectacular about this film are its graphics. The astounding detail and the excellent CGI used in the battle scene makes the viewer feel as if they are in a Vought Corsair about to drop a torpedo on a Japanese carrier; or a Mitsubishi Zero, teetering on the edge of a dive bombing run on a US bunker. Granted, the aerial dogfights and the repeated bombings can get a bit tiresome, but the enthralling story and incredible set pieces make up for this boredom.

Ultimately, Midway isn’t just a movie for plane lovers or second world war fanatics. It’s a must-watch film for everyone who wants an engrossing and seemingly accurate portrayal of a major battle during the second world war and it's definitely worth the price of admission.

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