This was copied from Jon Parshall's facebook post about the movie. If your not familiar with Jon Parshall, he's the author of "Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway" It's a great read. It's the definitive account of the Battle of Midway which dispels myths about the battle. I didn't post all of his comments but a good sampling. I hope he doesn't mind :)
"...Yes, the Pearl Harbor attack sequences were laughably Star Wars-esque, with Japanese Zero fighters nimbly zipping between the masts of American battleships as they strafed Battleship Row. And the Arizona sinking sequence couldn't seem to make up its mind about whether she wanted to go down by the bow (sorta accurate) or capsize (not)...
...Oh, and the script perpetuates the myth that the Japanese should have bombed our fuel tanks, because That Would Have Lengthened The War By At Least A Year(tm). (To those not in the know: they never planned to, and it wouldn’t have anyway.) So mark one up for Mitsuo Fuchida, whose durable lies live on in American cinema. Bonus prize for Admiral Yamamoto repeating his quip about fearing Japan has "awoken a sleeping giant," thereby cadging a line from "Tora! Tora! Tora!" that was never actually uttered by Yamamoto, but was instead the product of a very clever 1960s screenwriter. (Is it plagiarism if the line was never actually said by the guy in the previous movie that you’re stealing it from?)..."
"...There's no discernible reason for the Doolittle Raid sequence following, except that it gives us an excuse to watch yet another overloaded plane (this time a B-25) taking off from a carrier and Avoiding Near Disaster(tm) whilst still Barely Clipping Her Wing on the Water(tm)--a trope that we witness about four times in this movie--three of them with our exceedingly virile, gum-chewing hero, Dick Best. (By the way, for those of you not in the know, Clipping Your Wing(tm) on the water, when flying a 200-knot airplane, in actuality leads to Instant Death(tm).)..."
"...The Battle of Coral Sea is covered in about thirty-seven seconds. We get a glimpse of a burning and sinking American Yorktown-class carrier, which was kinda confusing, because either 1) they were trying to show us the burning and sinking Lexington (in which case, they were too cheap to use their special-effects budget to model Lexington,) OR 2) they were trying to show us how badly damaged Yorktown was at Coral Sea (in which case they bungled the extent of her damage, because any ship which was taking the licking this puppy was taking on-screen, wasn't going to be limping back anywhere, let alone back to Pearl Harbor)..."
"...Which brings us (finally) to Midway. All I can say is that if the Japanese actually had been able to generate that volume of anti-aircraft firepower, they might have had a shot at winning the war. The ship models aren't bad. There are some weird glitches with various American attack sequences--too many planes in general, coming in wrong, and dropping the wrong ordnance. They almost invariably come in low, thereby necessitating flying through a veritable maze of Japanese warships (Star Wars death star canyon scene again, anyone?), all of which show a distinct predilection for steaming practically adjacent to each other, at really high speed, but always in a completely straight line, while still puking out ungodly quantities of anti-aircraft fire..."
"...(For those not in the know, the Japanese formation of 21 ships was, in fact, spread across about a 20-mile diameter circle of ocean--you couldn't have flown over more than two of them even if you had tried. And the number of American aircraft actually lost to anti-aircraft fire that whole day, you ask? One. Just one--a dive-bomber shot down over Kaga. But whatevs... none of that makes for a Cool-Looking Battle Sequence(tm), now does it?)..."
"...Other pet peeves: they made Eugene Lindsey, commander of the Enterprise torpedo planes, out to be broadly incompetent (which he wasn't). They also tried to create some weird personal tension between our Hero, Dick Best, and his back-seater, Jim Murray (which there wasn't, that I know of). And finally, of course, our Hero himself was portrayed as a gum-chewing, order-disobeyin’, clench-jawed, cowboy jockey kinda pilot...when in fact Lt. Richard Halsey Best was highly analytical, somewhat reserved, and calmly confident. Think “professional,” not “rebel.”..."
Historical stuff aside (I don't know enough about the Pacific theatre) I honestly couldn't disagree with these points. They are all perfectly valid. And yet, oddly, like Chickenboy, I came away thinking it was "alright".
I certainly didn't think it was worse than Pearl.
Alba gu' brath