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Dauntlass: Battle of Midway, 2019 film

Discussion in 'WWII Films & TV' started by belasar, Oct 14, 2020.

  1. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    This was a lower budget movie that came out at about the same time the higher budget partially Chinese financed Midway semi remake did. Head lined by Judd Nelson and C. Thomas Howell, though in truth they are more like supporting actors here. The film was originally shot and cast as Adrift but had the title changed when sold for distribution, possibly to capitalize on the hype of the bigger budget film.

    I was a little concerned about Nelson and Howell being listed so proximately in the opening credits but they actually do a pretty decent job here, Nelson in particular is more restrained than his usual self, and as I said they offer more supporting roles and are not critical to the story as a whole. As for the rest of the cast, they are more workmanlike than memorable with actors I don't really remember seeing elsewhere, but I guess you gotta start somewhere.

    The plot is three loosely connected storylines. The first is about a SBD pilot and his gunner that are part of Enterprise's strike on the Japanese carriers, shot down, make a water landing and are cast adrift. The second is about a crew of a PBY flying boat tasked with keeping tabs on the Japanese fleet and rescuing downed pilots. Finally, Nelson (Adm Spruance) and Howell (Cptn. Browning) are here to provide context of the battle as a whole. The SBD pilot and PBY pilot are set up as friends from before the war and lay the groundwork for a twist in the conclusion of the film. They also seemed determined to portray Browning as a heavy, either as a plot device or because the writer/director/producer had a agenda.

    This kind of movie relies heavily on CGI that ranges form the fairly decent to the pretty obvious, especially in the sequences involving Nelson and Howell. One aspect that impressed me was some wide shot renderings of a Atlanta class AA cruiser, somebody got the research done right. Then again they got Midway island wrong as the depicted it as heavily forested with triple canopy trees.

    Online reviews range from 1 and a half stars to 2 and a half, I would grade it right in the middle of this range at 2 stars out of 4. Not great, but watchable, I didn't feel the urge to switch channels or kept glancing at the clock waiting for it to end. Its available for free on streaming app's with a few commercials, which is how I viewed it.

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  2. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    The film had it's name changed midstream, because a film with the same title was released a year earlier.
    Adrift (2018 film) - Wikipedia
    Thus forcing a name change.

    Have only seen the trailers, but the CGI looks "gamish", like the many IL-2 Stumovik movies on YouTube.
     
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  3. belasar

    belasar Court Jester Staff Member

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    Thanks for the clarification on the title.
     
  4. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Wellb the 2018 "Adrift" was also a to-do movie. But, I am biased as after "Perfect Storm", all other shipwreck movies are pretty meh.
     

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