Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk is now in theaters, and you owe it to your soul to go and see it. It is easily now one of the best World War II films ever made, or out of any war movie for that matter. Nolan’s use of sound and imagery is stunning, as he manages to weave intricate narratives together to tell an overall tale of the heroism, bravery, and loss that those who fought in the war, or were a part of it without asking to be. You need to check this one out folks, so head on down below to get my full review in video or scripted form!
Hey now history buffs, Matt Heywood here from EntertainmentBuddha.com to review one of 2017’s best films, Dunkirk.
Yet again Christopher Nolan has managed to wow audiences on a deep emotional level with another masterpiece in filmmaking, that very well may go down as one of the best and most impactful World War 2 films ever made.
He didn’t need superheroes, or overly violent battle scenes to make such a memorable and impressionable war movie either. Dunkirk manages to immerse you into the events of this epic Allied retreat from German forces with hardly any dialogue too, which really helps to make you feel like you’re a participant in the horrific events taking place.
Nolan didn’t waste a single minute on character development, or pontificating about the merits of war. Hell, you hardly even learn most of the main character’s names for that matter. He gets right to the action the moment the film opens and grabs a hold of your visual and auditory senses like a vice as they recreate the panic and chaos that the retreat from Dunkirk must have felt like.
You truly must watch this movie in the IMAX format, which Nolan shot many scenes for, because the larger-than-life-picture, and the soul crushing sound system perfectly compliment a film of this nature. Hans Zimmer’s score pulses through every inch of your body as you watch nail biting dogfights, German dive bomber raids, and the sheer panic of 300,000 plus men trying to escape a doomed arena of war with nowhere to turn but the ocean.
Zimmer and Nolan use the score to tell the story more so than dialogue, which goes to show how important the visual and sound design of this film are. At times I swear the score was made to mimic what it would have felt like to be in a World War 2 era fighter plane, or on board a ship as it was being torpedo bombed. You could feel the thumping of airplane propellor blades in your chest, or the creaking and cracking of metal under you feet thanks to the immaculate sound design and score. The sound alone should win an Oscar thanks to the level of immersion it offers, but Dunkirk will surely be up for more awards than just that. It’s excellent across the board.
In terms of the narrative there are a few characters that flesh out the main cast Nolan uses to tell his untraditional war movie. You follow each group during one day of the Dunkirk retreat, which is a hellacious one at that. You meet a group of ground soldiers who struggle mightily to get to a ship to go home, yet at each turn some other horrible event takes place that sees them facing new and seemingly unsurmountable odds. You also follow a squadron of Royal Air Force fighters who are trying to support the evacuation from the air. This group easily provides the most intense fighting scenes during the film, and on an IMAX screen the dogfights are spectacles to say the least. There’s also a civilian boat captain, his son, and a friend that you are shown the story through as they participate in the Dunkirk evacuation after being requestioned by the British Navy. Finally, you also check in and learn more about the events of Dunkirk through the eyes of a British General.
What makes each of these groups so interesting is that through each of them we see certain events that took place at different times through their eyes. This in turn allows you the viewer to see alternate shots of the same scene to see how it played out from a different factions perspective. This allows the plot to be delivered out of order without feeling out of order. You just witness events you’ve already seen from a different point of view, which helps to round out the overall plot into a cohesive story with a ton of heart and emotion packed into it.
If anything else, Dunkirk is a perfect reminder of how ordinary people can do extraordinary things when their lives are on the line, or when a threat to humanity presents itself. Thanks to the way it is shot you begin to feel as if you’re also on the journey, so every high, and every low that the film’s characters face, you share in their joys and sorrows as if you were a part of the retreat itself. This film reminds you of why the World War 2 generation is still and forever will be the greatest generation of humans to ever grace this earth. The unselfishness the soldiers and regular people showed during this war is intoxicating, and one can only help some of it would rub off on our modern generations who are more concerned with themselves than the state of the world.
Dunkirk is a special film, and one that I won’t be surprised if it wins a bunch of little Oscar statues in February. It’s damn near perfect, actually, it is perfect to be honest with you, so it gets a 10 out of 10 review score from Team EB. It solidifies Nolan’s legacy as one of Hollywood’s best Directors, and it also confirms that Hans Zimmer is the second greatest movie score composer behind only John Williams. If you want to experience an amazing World War 2 film as you’ve never seen one before, then I highly recommend you see Dunkirk on a large format screen before it makes its own retreat from theaters.
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Review Statement: The author of this review paid for an IMAX screening for the purposes of this review.