Movie Review: ‘Dunkirk’

July 21, 2017 at 7:22 pm | Posted in Movies, Reviews | 1 Comment

Dunkirk had a lot going for it – a great director, good actors and a big budget. Unfortunately, it didn’t have a good story, or at least a cohesive narrative. If there’s one thing that really sums up what is wrong with this film, it’s editing.

Going into this movie, I had pretty low expectations. While I’m a fan of Christopher Nolan’s work as a director, the trailers for Dunkirk never sold me on the film. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge World War II history buff, but Dunkirk isn’t exactly one of the most exciting battles of the war. So I knew the story was going to be an uphill climb to try and sell this battle as something gripping and exciting. Visually the film looks great. The acting is top notch. Truly, the flaw with this film is the story and the editing.

The movie starts off with a group of soldiers coming under fire and fleeing what it implied to be the Germans. One of those fleeing British troops goes on to become a recurring character throughout the film. As the story follows along, this British soldier struggles to return fire, drops his gun, and just flat out runs away. He quickly winds up on the beach with the rest of the British army and everything is peaceful calm. He takes this break to try and use the restroom, but is interrupted by someone burying a dead soldier. Soon he and the grave digger are trying to get their way on a vessel bound for England by sneaking their way onto a hospital ship. It’s a series of odd situations strung together to form a story. There’s never much character development, and there’s actually very little dialog in the film. Throughout the entire thing, there are long stretches where there is nothing but sound effects and the score. But this British soldier isn’t the only main character.

Dunkirk follows several characters in a series of twisting and winding storylines. There’s Tom Hardy as an RAF pilot flying over the English Channel to engage German aircraft. There’s Mark Rylance who captains a civilian vessel to try and help ferry troops across the channel due to the lack of British destroyers.¬†Cillian Murphy plays one of the soldiers that gets picked up by the boat. There are a few other characters that are spotlighted, but those are the main ones, and each of them has a storyline that progresses throughout the film and eventually crosses paths in one way or another. The biggest problem with those storylines is that they are told in chunks and not always chronologically. Once scene may jump to another that is actually an event that has already happened or has yet to happen. Later on another scene may pick up where one left off. The jumping around is not seamless and it’s not even well done. I’m no movie critic, but even I could tell the editing was very oddly done. It’s not easy to follow and it severely hurts the throughline of the movie. On the other hand, there’s not really a cohesive story to be told.

For anyone going into this, Dunkirk will not enlighten you too much on how the battle came about, what happened, or what it resulted in. There are a lot of implications and a lot of historical elements left out. Thus Nolan didn’t make this movie to educate people with an informative film. What Dunkirk does is highlight some of the experiences the people in the battle went through. That is pretty much the only thing this film accomplishes. It focuses entirely on the British with a little bit of the French thrown in there. The Germans are barely scene, and by the end of the film, you won’t even know some of the main character’s names. That’s how little the character development plays out. Even the various storylines don’t play that well with each other as they simply portray different aspects of the battle without telling any sort of overall character story. People die, people live, and people get captured. Dunkirk shows only a small snippet of the war, and indeed, only a small snippet of the battle itself. It’s an odd movie that you may want to see once, but you probably won’t ever have the desire to see it again.

In the end, I give Dunkirk a two out of five metal bikinis. I can’t recommend it, but if you want to go see it, it’s not a complete waste of money.

Reviewed By: Skuldren for Roqoo Depot.

1 Comment »

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  1. The movie is really nice and heart touching. Hats off to Nolan, my favorite.

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