Great War Film: Dunkirk (2017)

The Blog is back bitches!  I realized that facebook was not a good format to reviewing films and I do miss writing about what I’ve seen and the three people who consistently read my reviews.  Anyway, I wanted to review a film that I had the great pleasure of seeing just yesterday, Christopher Nolan’s World War II epic, Dunkirk.

Telling the story of the famous “Miracle of Dunkirk”, where the British army was able to evacuate over 300,000 men during the early days of World War II.  The film tells the story in three parts: the experiences of the army on the beach, the experiences of the small boats piloted by Civilians that were dispatched to save the soldiers, and the experiences of the Royal Air Force.

Even though I knew how the movie ended and how the actual battle played out, I have to admit that I was on the edge of my seat the entire time!  From the first moment when you hear the first gunshots, there is never a single lull in the action.  This is not surprising because Nolan is a master of heightened tension in his movies (think Memento, Interstellar, the Dark Knight) and he uses all of the tools of modern film-making to his advantage.  The cinematography and editing are excellent and help make many of the different elements of the story cohesive.  Another hallmark (and the secret weapon) is the riveting score by Hans Zimmer.  The score and its ticking clock motif add greatly to the tension and make it so that the audience is completely riveted by the action.

A common criticism that viewers may have is that there is little in the way of character development and that we are not shown the German side of the battle.  I think that view is missing the point.  By keeping the bare-bones of character development the audience is able to identify with these young men who are in war because we are able to put on our projections and emotions into the characters.  Any of these characters could be us or someone we know, and that is exactly the point: We all know someone who is fought in a war or experienced the dangers of war firsthand.

Dunkirk is the type of movie that Hollywood does not make anymore: A concise tense movie where good is good, bad is bad, and all the elements of movie magic are brought together to create something special.  If you have a chance see it in IMAX on 70 mm film, the sound and image are incredible.  The fact that it also is about 100 minutes long is another positive.  Seriously Hollywood, not every movie has to be two hours twenty minutes!

Final Review: 4 out of 4 stars.


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