'Midway' reenacts key moment in Pacific War

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, November 4, 2019
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Yu Dong, chairman of Bona Film Group, poses with a big match prop to light a giant Chinese firecracker prop held by director Roland Emmerich, meaning to be explosive and successful in the film market, at the premiere of war film "Midway" held in Beijing, Nov. 3, 2019. [Photo courtesy of MicroEnt]

Hollywood director Roland Emmerich's new war epic "Midway," featuring numerous visual effects and vivid aerial action scenes and heavy Chinese investment, will relive a key moment in the Pacific Theater of World War II.

"I want to show the world how the wild and dangerous aspects of dive bombing," Emmerich explained at the China premiere on Sunday. "These pilots were pretty much like kind of human rockets that will try to deploy bombs as low as possible against a constantly moving aircraft carrier."

The film is based on the story of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the subsequent Battle of Midway that finally turned the conflict in the Pacific World War II in the American-led allies favor. It tells how U.S. Navy sailors and aviators persevered through the tragedy of Pearl Harbor, the elation and daring of James Doolittle's bombing raid on Tokyo, and finally the Battle of Midway itself. The plentiful of battle scenes are thrilling and breathtaking, in which the director said he sought to balance true history and entertainment.

In the biggest deal made at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, China's Bona Film Group agreed to invest $80 million in Emmerich's project. Yu Dong, chairman of Bona Film Group, said after he had talked with the director for two hours at the festival, he had no hesitation to invest heavily.

Yu Dong, chairman of Bona Film Group and German director Roland Emmerich pose for a photo at the premiere of war film "Midway" held in Beijing, Nov. 3, 2019. [Photo courtesy of MicroEnt]

Speaking at Sunday's premiere, Yu praised the final cut of "Midway" as a war film to show off "world's top-rated special effects" and a must-see blockbuster for this year. Several Chinese military experts were also invited to attend and praised the attention to detail of the film crew in seeking to reenact the history. They also said the Battle of Midway should be studied repeatedly for military value while the film conveyed the message of the hard-earned peace.

Director Emmerich, a German who has long worked in Hollywood and is best known for making disaster and alien attack films such as "Independence Day," "Godzilla," "The Day After Tomorrow" and "2012," revealed that, to replicate the historic scene, his production crew designed and built many real-life sets and aircraft, and made many exciting visual effects shots to give the audience an immersive and unforgettable big screen experience. 

However, their first act was to go back to the original places such as the Pearl Harbor, which "was very emotional for us."

Emmerich hoped audiences would love the film, "I'm very proud of it. I worked very hard on it. In days when there are a lot of sequels on the big screen, 'Midway' is an original war movie which, I think, should be always be in theaters every year."

A poster of "Midway" [Image courtesy of MicroEnt]

The film, with the screen play written by Wes Tooke, features a high quality cast, including Ed Skrein, Patrick Wilson, Luke Evans, Aaron Eckhart, Nick Jonas, Mandy Moore, Dennis Quaid and Woody Harrelson. It will be released in China on Nov. 8, the same day as the American release.

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