Killer Rob Movie Review

'Dunkirk’ is a war film based on the British and French troops being evacuated from the region with the German stronghold closing in to destroy them and occupy the area. The Brits and French troops among other nationalities are completely surrounded and evacuating naval ships are scarce compared to the number of troops trying to leave. They must escape Dunkirk or face certain death.

Dunkirk really doesn’t focus on a single main star since the movie has many subplots. There are revolving battles taking place on the ground, the sea, and the air. There is one young soldier on the beach of Dunkirk who gets more camera time than others, but it was hard to tell exactly which soldier he was because they all looked alike. It was a bit of a challenge through the film to distinguish the main guy we are supposed to be following on the ground.

Tom Hardy plays one of the pilots and you’d have absolutely no idea it was him until the end. It just seems like if you have a mega star like Tom Hardy in your movie, you’d want the audience to know it from the beginning.

How Christopher Nolan goes about directing his movies makes you wonder? The Batman trilogy was awesome but remember the super-confusing ‘Inception’? Nolan is a smart and talented guy, but he could go about explaining things a little better and making scenes easier to follow. He didn’t write a screenplay with a narrative like ‘Saving Private Ryan’ or ‘Platoon’ where the characters stand out with their appearance and personalities, but even a movie like Terrence Malick’s ‘Thin Red Line’ that featured rotating scenes with a huge cast had scripting to identify and connect with the characters.

Dunkirk does have many good qualities and features that were very well done. The bombardment of planes bombing and firing at soldiers on land was severely tense. This happens continuously through the movie reminding you that these French and British soldiers trying to escape Dunkirk were never safe, and could never let their guard down. The movie creates a massive amount of tension with the troops trying to evacuate and the German’s constantly attacking, killing many men and ruining the hopes of soldiers. Hans Zimmer had a great score in the movie that increased the tension extremely well.

The air battles were cool, but again it was hard to separate the good guys from the enemy. The ships being constantly bombed and torpedoed was traumatic, with soldiers finally getting on a ship to leave thinking their nightmare was finished, but would once again be brought to the realization that it isn’t over until you step foot on friendly soil. Many poor soldiers would drown with the sinking ships, or were burned to death by the bombs dropped from the warplanes above.

The amount of civilians that would take their own boats and vessels to help out and rescue the soldiers at Dunkirk was really admirable. One theme in the movie Dunkirk follows a man and two boys on a civilian boat as they look to help the cause. There is one bizarre scene where a traumatized soldier played by Cillian Murphy is rescued by the man and boys and violently gets into an encounter causing severe injury to one of the boys. It was yet another scene in Dunkirk where you’re kind of scratching your head and wondering wtf?!

Another weird scene is when two different groups of soldiers board an abandoned beached ship in enemy territory, only to have the Germans start firing bullet holes through the ship and causing the two groups of British soldiers to turn on each other. The scene just seemed awkward and unnecessary.

The main departing area for men to be loaded on the ships was a long dock called “The Mole”. Now you can understand the soldiers lined up on The Mole in order to board a ship and leave. What was confusing were the multiple lines of soldiers that went about 100 men deep, and were spread out about 50 yards apart between lines with the first 30 or so soldiers actually standing in the low tide water.

It was never explained in the movie as to why these lines of soldiers were arranged like this and what the purpose was. Were the lines of soldiers meant to confuse and distract the enemy planes from the actual Mole dock when they would fly down in attack mode? Again, just another thing not explained where you’d need to be a war historian to know many of the details.

All in all, not the worst war movie ever but certainly nowhere near the best. The story itself is one of bravery and survival. What a brutal World War it was. Every time you watch a film on war, you can’t help but be sympathetic for the young lives lost on all sides. It really is a shame, and even more unnerving when you realize it really wasn’t that long ago in the history of time. With that said, if you enjoy a good action-war movie like myself, than Dunkirk is worth a viewing.