Hiroshi Hershey Miyamura
Richard L. Etchberger
Ty M. Carter
Thanks to the video game series of the same name and numerous war films flaunting the prestigious award as a common occurrence, it’s easy to overlook what an incredible achievement receiving the Medal Of Honor truly is. Split across 8 episodes, Medal Of Honor is a humbling, well shot documentary series that does a great job bringing some class to an award that seems to have lost its meaning somewhere along the way. Although some of the editing is a little janky and the series suffers from an inconsistent pace at times, Medal Of Honor is a timely documentary, one fittingly released on the eve of Remembrance Sunday as the perfect companion to honour the brave soldiers who lost their lives defending their country.
From World War II to the Korean front, Medal Of Honor does a great job depicting a variety of different conflicts while showing a blend of social and racial issues of the time. Each episode begins with a brief introduction to the recipient of the award before squad mates, family members and superiors recount the events leading up to them receiving the medal. This is then accompanied by realistically depicted re-enactments bringing a harrowing, brutal edge to each tale. For the rest of the run time, each episode then swings between talking heads, archival footage and dramatic re-enactments before ending each episode with a vast chunk of the run time remaining.
While some may hastily reach for the “Next Episode” button, the long epilogue (roughly around 20 minutes or so) splices up raw footage not used in the episode and presents it to us in its original format. This slows the pace considerably compared to the more hasty, urgent tone the show leans on. After one adrenaline-soaked shocking story about a Taliban assault on a remote outpost, the episode then goes on to feature the full, unedited version of the soldier receiving his award. While these elements are a nice inclusion, the editing is clumsy, especially given the fact we’ve already seen the main parts of this featured in the episode itself.
Still, much like other documentary series on Netflix, Medal Of Honor is a well-made, incredibly engaging show. The blend of archival footage and dramatic re-enactments work well, giving the prestigious award some much-needed class in what’s been a somewhat trivial occurrence in mainstream media. Although the show suffers from an inconsistent pacing and some of the editing is a little clumsy, it’s the stories these soldiers share that ultimately make Medal Of Honor so appealing and one that deserves the utmost respect for showing the sacrifices these men endured for their country.