A technical Triumph
Dunkirk (2017): Allied soldiers from Belgium, the British Empire and France are surrounded by the German army and evacuated during a fierce battle in World War II.
Wow. Christopher Nolan does it again. Undoubtedly his strongest technical film to date, Dunkirk is perfect. This is exactly why I love movies. I am going for 100 films reviews in 2017, and that means I will sit through some pretty bad ones (see: Transformers) in the process, but if anything that makes experiences like Dunkirk that much better. A film like Dunkirk will revitalize me and prepare me for the inevitably mediocre (and worse) films that are still to come this year. But there is no doubt this will be one of the best films of the year, and thanks to its mastery of all technical categories, will undoubtedly receive some love come the Oscars. So let's dive into it, shall we?
There's one thing that I didn't like about this film, and that's its non-linear story. The editing early on was a tad jarring as I didn't know I was in for a non-linear story, but once I realized what wass going on I actually enjoyed this film's simplistic story. Nolan has run into problems in the past when he tries to make his stories more "important" than they really are, but that doesn't happen here. This story is quick and easy, with the events themselves providing all the drama this film needed. But the calling card of this film is not it's story, or even the acting. Rather, it's with the viewing experience itself.
First off, before I talk about the technical masterpiece that is Dunkirk, do yourself a favor and see this film in IMAX. Now. It is undoubtedly the best film I have seen in an IMAX movie theater, and that's thanks to the care Christopher Nolan put into creating the film. Most of this film is shot on native IMAX 70 mm cameras, so we had no black bars on the giant IMAX screen. Additionally, there's the INCREDIBLE sound design. From the first moments of the film, I was blown away by the sounds of the movie. The planes roaring overhead, the bombs exploding, the gunshots.....simply incredible. Additionally, the dogfights are, simply put, the best WWII dogfights I have ever seen in a film, and that's thanks to those sequences being (somehow) shot entirely in IMAX 70 mm. The film made me feel like I was really up in the air in the middle of these fights. These dogfights alone are worth the price of admission.
Finally, the other major accomplishment of this film is the score. While it doesn't provide any "catchy" lines, so to say, it did provide exactly what this film needed to continue to build tension. By the climax of the film I was as close to the edge of my seat as I could be, even on the second viewing! I give Hans Zimmer's masterful score major credit for this tension. The one thing I haven't really mentioned is the acting, but that's because it's largely secondary in this film. It's definitely well-acted, and Fionn Whitehead is great as the closest thing this film has to a lead, but other than that I didn't really see any standouts in this film. But still, the overall cast is excellent. Ultimately, this film is a perfect technical experience, and it also delivers in every other category to make it the best film of the year so far.
We are on some kind of roll right now! Hopefully Atomic Blonde can keep it going, but in the meantime, see this one with confidence. And see it in IMAX, please! You will not regret it!
The Critique: A technical masterpiece, Dunkirk features incredible sound design, beautiful visuals, and an innovative score.
The Recommendation: An absolute must-see. See it with confidence!
The Verdict: 10/10 Perfect
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