What happens when producers do double duty as screenwriters? Midway through Midway, it hit me. First-timer Wes Tooke, guilty on both counts, makes it so the special effects are more interesting than the characters and events they were meant to update for contemporary audiences. The cast, on the other hand, looks old-school sharp in their full dress blues — Woody Harrelson could be dangling a Spencer Tracy biopic, and damn if Joe Jonas isn’t the spitting image of David Niven. The Dolby Atmos-enhanced battle sequences rocked the theatre, but without any semblance of conviction, the film barely sticks to the green screen. Director Roland Emmerich is an old hand at this type of derivative, effects-driven hoohah (Independence Day, Godzilla, White House Down) — so old, in fact, that it’s beginning to show. The digitized combat looks like something traced and transplanted from another war, one that took place in a galaxy far, far away. Universally panned at the time of its release, and with reason, your time would be much better spent watching Richard Fleischer and Kinji Fukasaku’s Tora! Tora! Tora! (2019) — Scott Marks
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