Plot: The situation in Dunkirk for the Allied forces is beyond dire, as the German forces have seized the advantage and have the Allies surrounded. A blend of French, British, and Belgian soldiers remain alive in the area, but unable to do much, aside from try to stay alive and hope for some kind of miracle. A civilian fleet has been called upon to mount an attempt at getting some of the soldiers out of the area, but the Germans have a firm grasp on the situation, so even that seems unlikely. Scattered militia strike back at the Germans and push hard to create some openings or at least delay the inevitable, but the hour is quite dark. As these men face imposing odds and impending doom, will there be a light at the end of this grim tunnel?
Entertainment Value: Dunkirk is a loud, stylish take on the real life events at Dunkirk during World War II, crafted with the usual Christopher Nolan emphasis on style and technical marvel over substance. To that end, Dunkirk is indeed a technical marvel, a big, bold movie that has dynamic visuals and creative, effective sound design, so you will feel like you’re in the midst of this incredible conflict. That visceral presence is what drives this to be an effective movie, but the emphasis is so slanted toward the atmosphere, the film fails to capture the human aspect of the conflict. The tension is superb, but little time is taken to develop these characters or to help us connect with them, so this is a beautiful, but shallow experience. The cast is passable, but no one is given much to do or much of a chance to shine. Even Kenneth Branagh is unable to spark much of a presence, as this material is much more concerned with room shaking sound design and flashy visuals. I still think Dunkirk works however, as it makes you feel the raw fear and presence of these tense moments, not to mention the technical aspects, which are indeed masterful. But while it makes a wonderful home theater demonstration, I wanted more than just technical skill and Dunkirk falls short there.
No nakedness. The movie has no romance threads or panic sex, so the lack of naked flesh makes sense. No blood. The movie involves tense scenes that include deaths, but it takes a rather sanitized, impersonal approach to the violence. Lives are lost, that is made clear, but the movie never dwells on the visuals of such losses. I’m sure some appreciated this less violent approach, but given how visceral and in the moment the atmosphere is, it seems odd to smooth over the inherent violence and death. But then again, showing the loss of lives in a personal, impactful fashion might have detracted from the stylish presence of the movie. Dunkirk has minimal dialogue and it is treated as filler in most scenes, so not much to discuss on the writing front. Not much time is taken to bring the characters to life and even less time is taken to give them depth, so the dialogue reflects that lack of focus. No real craziness to speak of, just a lot of sharp visuals and loud, booming sound design.
Overall Insanity: 0/10