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Luke Evans and Ed Skrein, right, in Midway.

Reiner Bajo/Courtesy of Elevation Pictures

  • Midway
  • Directed by Roland Emmerich
  • Written by Wes Tooke
  • Starring Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson and Woody Harrelson
  • Classification PG
  • 138 minutes

rating

Much online tumult has been made regarding the run-time of Martin Scorsese’s new film, The Irishman, which clocks in at an intimidating 210 minutes. But anyone concerned about the number of hours they are spending in the dark should instead synchronize their watches for Roland Emmerich’s Midway, a Second World War epic that runs a comparatively paltry 138 minutes yet feels about five times as long.

Reviews of films opening this week: Martin Scorsese’s gift The Irishman, and the familiar and formulaic holiday tale Last Christmas

Emmerich, a disaster-porn fetishist of the highest degree (Independence Day, The Day After Tomorrow), surely had a good reason to revisit battles already widely dramatized (including in 1976′s Midway, starring Charlton Heston), but such internal justification is absent from the screen. This tale of straight-arrow heroism feels achingly familiar, throwing a lot of warm bodies and cold clichés into the chilly waters of the Pacific in the hope that something thrilling will float.

Instead, Midway is a choppy bore, its main source of intrigue centred around whatever New Jersey-ese accent British actor Ed Skrein is attempting as dive bomber Richard Best.

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Midway opens Nov. 8.

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