Midway: war according to Roland Emmerich

Midway: war according to Roland Emmerich

Whether it was via The Patriot - which evoked the birth of the United States -, Anonymous - which plunged into the Shakespearean era -, or 10,000 which showed a certain idea of ​​Prehistory, we ended up understanding something about Roland Emmerich: he loves history. Well, he also likes explosions, conspiracy theories and intrigue with a global content, but we especially feel that as a filmmaker, he has a certain tacit respect for History, because this entity is unalterable, intangible and above all a breeding ground for many anecdotes and often overlooked facts. After this observation, needless to say that seeing him squint very loudly on a war film, moreover during the Second World War, had all the logical progress. And all the more so when you know that the guy has been attracted from the start by an idea of ​​cinema that goes against current standards: the dilution of the subject function. So at Emmerich, there is no question of having only one hero who harvests all the laurels, but many. And if possible, of different stature. In this way, it is not difficult to understand why he became infatuated with the battle of Midway, which occurred in the vastness of the Pacific in 1942. This battle, capital for Uncle Sam, was indeed an unquestionable victory for the forces Americans who managed to win at the price of a perfect collaboration between all the aeronautical trades: the pilots first, the sailors then and above all the intelligence agents who knowingly dictate the direction of the fighting by cracking the messages of the Japanese enemy, thus making it possible to deceive the imperial forces and inflict on them such colossal losses that they will kill in the bud their inclinations of invasion of the USA. This is the context, the basic idea. One would have thought that with that and Roland Emmerich on pyrotechnic deposit, the film would be the target of a battle between several studios wanting to fit into their line-up invaded by superheroes & amp; Lycra, a warlike odyssey well made to bait the barge over 45 years old. And we would have been wrong. No studio responded to the call, forcing him to self-produce his film (something quite rare in Hollywood) and therefore to carry this project head on, without support worthy of the name. Who says no studio, says no real budget and that is how Emmerich, at the cost of many partnerships and international sales, had to deal with a budget of $ 100 million, making his film one of the independent feature films among the most expensive in history.

Still, $ 100 million, as long as you cause war blockbuster, it does not weigh heavily in the balance. Not at all even. As a result, the film, no doubt to Emmerich's chagrin, accumulates concessions and other pirouettes to avoid unnecessary spending. It involves a number of failed inlays, poorly finalized green backgrounds, planed interpretations and above all a desire to limit the action to a minimum. It has the merit of espousing the idea at the base of the project - namely the praises addressed to the Intelligence which were decisive in the victory of the USA - and above all, rare fact, to humanize the other force in presence: the Japanese . In Michael Bay's Pearl Harbor, the Japanese were united behind a clear desire to humiliate the United States. They seemed antipathetic, functions, even stereotypes, and one did not feel behind their actions, any humanity. Emmerich dares to take the opposite path by humanizing Japan. From the start, moreover, which takes place in 1937, we see Japanese people in the middle of peace talks with the USA, and thereafter, we will see them humble, human, combative certainly, but full of doubts and far from it. carnivorous image deployed in many other films located at the same period. Thus, without falling into the purest empathy with them, we experience like the USA, respect as in every fight. And what a fight. Since if we can deplore a blatant lack of means, sometimes making it difficult to immerse in all this pyrotechnic delirium, it must be admitted that Roland Emmerich has lost nothing of his mojo when we speak of mass destruction , great spectacle and gigantism. The film thus breathes a warlike aura at all times, we like to see shells, explosions, planes, boats, torpedoes, and it may be hard to say, we are completely delirious. We move from one army corps to another, we see many heads known to anyone who loves this part of history, and especially the treatment given to the whole shows a real respect for both camps. Still, behind the proposed show, we always come back to a detail that unfortunately makes the difference here: the budget. & Nbsp; No doubt so that if Roland Emmerich had had the means of his ambitions, and especially a real budget, we could have witness a cross between the solemnity of a Pearl Harbor and the realism of a Dunkirk. Patatras, all we will have is a film that honors diction: we do what we can with what we have. Is it enough to give birth to a good movie? Not so sure. Is it enough to give birth to good entertainment? It’s possible yes.

If we can thank Roland Emmerich for partially washing the affront of his Independence Day: Resurgence by showing that he is always able to serve the big show on demand, the fact remains that Midway suffers once is not used to a glaring lack of means to convince definitively. Evidenced by its torrent of often coarse visual effects that prevent total immersion, even if the guy films a real naval apocalypse with a certain sense of panache and enjoyment. & Nbsp;

Synopsis: & nbsp; After the Pearl Harbor debacle which left the American fleet devastated, the Imperial Japanese Navy is preparing a new attack which should definitively eliminate the naval forces remaining from its adversary. & Nbsp; The Pacific campaign will be played in a small isolated North Pacific atoll: Midway. & nbsp; Admiral Nimitz, the head of the U.S. fleet, sees this battle as the last chance to overthrow Japanese superiority. & nbsp; A race against the clock then begins to Edwin Layton who must crack the secret codes of the Japanese fleet and, thanks to the intelligence, allow the pilots of the American aviation to face the biggest offensive ever carried out during this conflict

Casting: Woody Harrelson, Luke Evans, Mandy Moore, Patrick Wilson, Ed Skrein, Aaron Eckhart, Nick Jonas, Tadanobu Asano, Dennis Quaid, Keean Johnson, Luke Kleintank, Jun Kunimura, Etsushi Toyokawa, Darren Criss, James Carpinello, Mark Rolston, Jake Weber

I have a deep admiration for sushi, James Bond, Leonardo DiCaprio, Apocalypse Now, Zodiac, good movies and skiing. Not necessarily in that order. And to those who can criticize a certain amateurism, I would simply answer them that Noah's Ark was made by amateurs and the Titanic by professionals.