This is one of the most boring war films I’ve ever seen.

Granted, I don’t watch many films about war. It’s not a subject that I’m interested in, but I’d heard such good things about Dunkirk that I thought I’d give it a shot. I’m not sure I watched the same film as those that give this meandering, lifeless garbage high praise.

Firstly, the characters. And I use the word ‘characters’ in a very loose sense, since literal cardboard cutouts could have replaced the humans in this film and it wouldn’t have made a difference. Nameless, emotionless, purposeless. A war film focusing on characters instead of action could have been incredible, but in order to do that you need to have meaningful and memorable characters.

Secondly, the lack of any meaningful action whatsoever. I would assume there to be some kind of intense action in a movie about the second World War. What Dunkirk offers are shots fired from unseen enemies, bombs and shells dropped from off-screen to explode in a mundane fashion. I mean, how do you make explosions boring?

Thirdly, the realism. I don’t like to see blood and gore in a war film, but it should be there. All of the shots and explosions are sanitized and offer no realistic effect. The Germans are carpet bombing the beach, and the dead soldiers lie there as if they’re sleeping.

Also, the score was annoying. The clock ticking and nerve-wracking strings implied that the situation was intense and dramatic, rather than showing it to be so. Showing a bunch of people standing on a pier waiting to board a ship set against an intense soundtrack does not make the situation impactful.

Also, Tom Hardy flying around and occasionally shooting at things and literally having an infinite supply of fuel until the end of the film was a complete waste of his acting abilities. Hell, Nolan could have cast anyone for that role since Hardy spoke very little and had his face covered for almost the entire film.

Dunkirk looks good – really good – but that’s about all it has going for it.

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