'Dunkirk' Has an Official and, Probably, Final Trailer Released, But I'm Still Not Convinced




Christopher Nolan is trying to reinvent the war movie with “Dunkirk,” just like he tried to reinvent sci-fi with “Inception.” “Interstellar,” “The Prestige” and the superhero movie with “The Dark Knight Trilogy.” What strikes one most upon first look of the film’s trailer is how un-Nolan the whole thing feels. However, what one should expect are the incredibly ambitious shots that the venerable English director is known for pulling off. What a risk he’s taking by casting a mostly unknown bunch of actors, safe for Tom Hardy, Cillian Murphy and Mark Rylance in supporting roles, to do the job. Completing the cast are Fionn Whitehead, Aneurin Barnard, James D’Arcy, Jack Lowden, Barry Keoghan and, yes, One Direction’s Harry Styles, who beat out more than 1000 other actors that auditioned for the role.  Nolan has promised “pared back” dialogue and confirmed “Dunkirk” is a “survival tale.” My rule has always been "Trust Nolan," he’s proven his worth. This could be just the story that Oscar ordered. 

HOWEVER, I'm still not buying into this film being anything special. At least, judging from what I've seen thus far. There seems to be something missing here. The scope is very much there, he's aiming for a David Lean-esque opus, there also seem to be shades of Das Boot. What I don't see is how this could be any different from the piled-up war films we've gotten over the last half-century.  The thing that made "The Hurt Locker" such an indisputably great war movie was that it presented us with a very different take on the war film, almost an immediate and incendiary reaction to the current fight with middle eastern Jihadi terrorism. Nolan is giving us a WWII film, a war which has been portrayed endless times cinematically. What could he possibly present that hasn't been done before? Or better yet, can he top this staggering long take from "Atonement" depicting the battle of Dunkirk:





    I don't know ... Something still feels "off" about this movie. This seems to be heavily inspired by David Lean, but I don't know if Nolan has the subtlety to pull it all off ... He's going to be aiming for grandiose moments here, bombastic in fact, and I just don't know if he'll be able to pull it all off without his usual overreaching.
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