- Jul 21, 2010
The movie takes us on a considerable sweep of history in the second world war . It begins before the Japanese air attack on Pearl harbour , when Japanese admiral Yamamoto ( Jun Kunimura ) warns the Americans that if they threaten their oil supplies then Japan will have to go to war . The war begins for America as Pearl harbour in Hawai gets bombarded by Japan's carrier based air fleet . The visuals of the attack are well picturised with bombs falling and warships going up in yellow flames and anti aircraft fire coming rapidly at the attacking aircraft like tracer bullets .
In revenge America bombs the Japanese capital Tokyo by bombers led by Lt colonel Doolittle flying from aircraft carriers and landing in Japanese controlled China as they don't have the range to come back . At the end of the movie we are informed that the Japanese killed 250000 Chinese in revenge for helping the bomber crew escape . There is a debate going in favour of the army in Japan but the Japanese are so stung by the raid that they plan a naval invasion of Midway islands in the pacific .
As the Japanese fleet of four aircraft carriers closes on to Midway , the Americans have used intercepts of Japanese signals to find out their target . They also correctly find out location of their fleet , while the Japanese are unaware of this fact . This is the only advantage lying with the Americans , whose carrier borne fighter planes are outclassed in technology and numbers by the Japanese fighter planes . Also the Americans have only two aircraft carriers fully fit and the third is pressganged into service even though she ( ships are reffered to as 'she' many times by sailors ) has a huge hole in her flight deck , caused by a Japanese bomb in the battle of the Coral sea .
As the two sides press their advantages , it's the Americans who surprise the Japanse fleet by dive bombing them by dive bombers . The whole act of dive bombing has been repeatedly picturised beautifuly in the film . The fighter plane begins it's steep dive on it's target from a great height . As it begins to close in , it is challenged by swathes of anti aircraft fire that must be terrifying for anyone in the cockpit . Running this gauntlet , the fighter plane dives to the height at which the bomb has to be released . After it releases the bomb , the plane has the unenviable task of turning up again from it's dive while the warship explodes in flames and acrid smoke which threatens even the plane flying just above it .
The Japanese have their own martial traditions , and their commanding officers go down with their ships refusing to get rescued because the responsibility of failure lies on them and honour is a valued thing in the orient . As four Japanese carriers are bombed to oblivion and sunk , finally the advantage shifts to the Americans in the Pacific war .
The movie is action packed and will be enjoyed by aficionados of war movies . It also takes us into the war rooms where war strategies are planned between the rival forces . Photography is great and the warships are shown sailing in full glory in the open sea silhouetted against the sun . Music is enthralling towards the end and acting by everyone is okay .
Three and a half stars out of five .