A truly cinematic experience that eschews dialogue and characterisation for Stuka sirens and Hans Zimmer horns.
This film goes head-to-head with the D-Day disembarking scenes in Saving Private Ryan as images for the ages. War and a beach, the perfect juxtaposition.
It also adds fire to the British stereotypes: stiff upper lips in face of world-shattering consequences, politeness when escaping certain death, terrible food, tea everywhere.
The actors are almost irrelevant, since there’s an almost Lovecraftian impotence from the humans towards the overbearing Enemy, never named. It goes to divine levels when not a single German is seen in focus, almost like the aliens from. They are out there, lurking about and they will kill us all very soon. Nolan makes nearly half a million people with rifles look like ants being stepped on by a jackboot, without involving nuclear weapons.
The soundtrack alternates between tasteful silences and Hans Zimmer SCREAMING for attention and telegraphing all the important moments. Kinda ruins the surprise at times, but since everyone knows how WWII turned out, the statute of limitations on spoilers has lifted ages ago.
As for the ancillary stuff, the hype train is in full force, calling this Oscar material. Some people even say this is Nolan’s best film. Insanity, do I need to show them a Memento of what they forgot? They leave the critic profession without they need to be taken seriously.
This is merely very competent effort, but I can’t really place it head and shoulders above current summer blockbusters like War for the Planet of the Apes. It’s cut from the same cloth, except this is mainly tweed.