I never thought I'd say this but, you did good Roland Emmerich.
I was extremely iffy about reviewing this but truth be told, all in all it was a very good movie. Detailing the events after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the U.S. navy counterattack against the japanese forces and decrypt their plan to use the Midway islands as a point of operations to send out more attacks on the west coast. Leading to a highly important battle in the pacific theater that led to U.S. forces making headway to the mainland of Japan. It tells the story concisely and even splits the attention on both american and japanese military operations, which you just truthfully don't see in many a war film. It's often just, urgh japs bad now america go forth and win, but they do take the time to tell history on both sides and don't paint the japanese navy in an unnecessarily antagonistic light. It sure as shit handled the attack on Pearl Harbor far better than a single frame of that f***ing useless hack Michael Bay could ever conjure in that movie. Don't even get me started. And while I admit the effects are not entirely great, they don't truthfully need to be, special effects are just a tool a means of telling a story so it can look like a PS3 game and it doesn't detract heavily. You get a grasp on the characters, the action is prominent and done well with the highlight for me being a brief dogfight up in the clouds. It was just done so dang good, keeping the tension high and delivered extremely well. The fact it sticks by all accounts of the actual soldiers who participated in these battles must be commended, with some slight liberties of course being taken for the sake of film so no foul there. You got a pretty solid cast that does deliver on all bases quite well, I mean Patrick Wilson is always a win, and Ed Skrien is a good lead that settles you in to an air force pilot's mindset during the early days of America stepping into the war. Etsushi Toyokawa has a lot of silent resilience playing Isoroku Yamamoto and I appreciate the fact they kept his quote "I fear all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant, and fill him with a terrible resolve" because he did feel it wasn't true combat, and they struck an unsuspecting enemy who wasn't to be trifled with. Plus it was just great seeing Jun Kunimura again, any actor who I get to see outside of a Godzilla movie is a treat. In the history I have had with Roland Emmerich, I have to say this is his best film. He handled the subject material with respect and it was pretty entertaining and informative. I give it 3 stars, 7.5/10, and I guess I'll finally watch Top Gun for the first time tomorrow.