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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Dunkirk Review

          Trapped on a beach in France, British soldiers eagerly wait to escape while the enemy is slowly closing in on them. That enemy might not be who you think it is. That enemy is pretentiousness. That enemy is having style over substance. That enemy is boredom. That enemy is repetitiveness. That enemy caused for a disappointing movie.
          All of my favorite directors have directed a war movie. Spielberg did Saving Private Ryan, Coppola did Apocalypse Now, and Kubrick did Full Metal Jacket. So I was really happy to see one of my favorite modern day directors take that step into war film making. Unfortunately it might be the weakest film in Nolan's repertoire.
          The one thing Dunkirk does better than other Nolan movies is it's use of IMAX. It's beautifully shot with IMAX cameras. When the screen goes full IMAX it's truly a spectacle to behold. Especially during the intense scenes. Even though this movie is beautiful (it begs to be seen on the big screen) I wasn't a big fan of Dunkirk.
          Rather than having characters in this movie, it has people. It has a lot of average white boys with dark hair that you can't tell apart. It's really confusing to follow these "characters" because there is nothing to set them apart from each other. If they addressed the names of these characters, I couldn't tell you one. You often find yourself asking "Are you the same guy who just did that other thing? I don't think so. Well, you might be. Actually, I don't know." It would've been helpful if they gave these characters some sort of background. If they explained if they had family back home, or a girlfriend to get back to. Just something to distinguish these characters would've been very helpful.
          I am going to compare this movie to PIXAR's Wall-E just for this one example. For about the first 45min of Wall-E there is no dialogue. It forces you to look around and pay attention to things that you might not have if there were characters talking. It's a very interesting directing choice and a very interesting way to tell a story. In the case of Wall-E, having no dialogue worked really well.  There was only one character (two if you count is cockroach friend) that the movie was focusing on. You wouldn't get confused with the lack of dialogue because you are only following one simple character. In Dunkirk you needed dialogue. You need it because it's really easy to loose track of things when the film makers provide you with so much going on at once. That lack of being able to keep track of everything causes the movie to be rather boring. Why should I have interest in a movie when they don't bother giving me anything to have interest in i.e. the characters or the lack there of. That's not saying that I don't have interest in the situation that is going on. I was very curious to learn more about this part of the war that I really didn't know anything about. It's just unfortunate that I wanted to fall asleep multiple times during my showing. If I had this my way I would've paused it about half way through so I could take a nap. When I woke up I would simply just hit the play button. Frankly, I wish I could've done that.
          Dunkirk has some scenes in which they show the same scene multiple times just from different points of view. That got confusing because there was no dialogue to tell me what was going on. Sometimes I just felt like I was watching the same scene multiple times. When they did that the first time I quickly caught on so when they did it again I could comprehend what has happening. But they still did it too much. However sometimes you couldn't tell that they were doing the same scene from a different point of view because in this movie all the ships and all the planes look the same. So occasionally you couldn't actually tell if it was a new scene or a scene being re-shown from another persons eyes. It didn't help that the editing was a complete mess.
          It felt like the goal of this movie was to put emphasis on what it feels like when you have soldiers trying to survive in a desperate situation. The progression towards that goal was taken very slowly. They were trying to make it realistic which I'm assuming they did a very good job (I personally wasn't a Dunkirk so I can't really say.) But sometimes trying to make something realistic isn't always the right way to go. If you wanted to make a realistic movie about an FBI agent about 90% of that movie will be spent in an office doing some sort of paper work. That's just how the life of an FBI agent is. Sometimes trying to showcase the realistic side of an event doesn't work well for a movie.
           Zimmer's score was to overpowering. It was to much of his "BWAHHH" type of score that you might hear from his other movies like Inception or Interstellar. Dunkirk just wasn't that block buster type movie that called for a big score from Zimmer. It needed a much more simpler score.
          It just didn't fit in with the feel that Nolan wanted to give us. It is a movie that I can appreciate more than I can enjoy.


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