By Rich Kozlovich
Typically, I don’t do sports or entertainment on Paradigms and Demographics unless there’s some social commentary involved. I’m making an exception today.
World War II has always been emotional for me. My father and uncles fought in it, some were never the same again. My father was in the Navy and took part in seven major invasions, and actually saw the flag raising on Iwo Jima.
Yesterday evening I went to see the new Midway movie. This isn’t a remake of the old movie, and I can honestly say this will be numbered among the best Word War II movies ever. I’ve seen a lot of movies on Pearl Harbor, Midway, Jimmy Doolittle’s raid on Tokyo, and I think this one is the absolute best dealing with this subject, especially in the time frame of 2 hours and 18 minutes. The time does not drag I assure you.
In the past movies on these subjects spent way too much screen time on sub-stories and personal relationships that didn’t enhance the main story, and in this case the battle of Midway.
However, this version isn’t just about the Battle of Midway. It takes in the entire context of the war at that time, starting with the Japanese attack of Pearl Harbor, and I can assure you there never was a more convincing demonstration of the devastation that took place than you will see in this movie. The special effects were startling and amazing. Then they covered the attack on Tokyo by Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, and ended with the battle of Midway.
The sub stories enhance the main theme, which was all about the heroism and sacrifice by a lot of very young men who went into battle knowing they were facing an enemy with superior numbers and equipment. Pilots attacked the Japanese fleet with substandard planes and equipment knowing they were probably not coming back. I found watching the scenes showing so many of them being blown up very emotional.
I also think Woody Harrelson did a really good job of portraying Admiral Nimitz. However, this wasn’t a movie that was cast driven. There were some well-known stars, but they were in supporting roles. The star was the story, and done by actors I’d never heard of before. It was a story that needed to be told in the way it was told, and by the actors who told it.
This movie was all about the story, and sacrifice.
Describing this war in the movie “In Harm’s Way”, Commander Eddington tells Captain Rockwell Torrey, “Old Rock of Ages, we've got ourselves another war. A gut bustin', mother-lovin' Navy war.” That movie was fictional. This movie shows just how gut busting it really was. This movie depicts another generation. This movie shames the current generation.
Go see it.