Spoiler alert: this film is spoiled.
In case you were waiting for someone to tell you to go see this film, here you are:
I wanted to like this film. I'd been anticipating its release for days. And director Christopher Nolan probably wanted to deliver an epic masterwork for the ages. He couldn't pull off delivering even a decent flick. The cinematography was visually riveting, as are most train wrecks. In service of a film in search of a reason for existing at all. At two hours' running time, it's exactly one hour and fifty-seven minutes too long. Watch any of the trailers, then save yourself two hours of your life you'll never get back. There are no solid heroes to root for: the movie opens with two men conniving any dodge they can to get off the doomed beach. By turns, it displays how harrowing the experience was, but the most suffering is done by the audience, having to sit through long expositions of the horrors of war with no payoff for the journey. In Gravity, by ten minutes in, I was rooting for the debris to kill the entire cast; in this flick, you'll almost want to root for the Nazis to do the same thing.
Normally, an epic war movie would have a hero, or even multiple heroes; a villain; some suspense and plot twists; and hopefully, some sort of triumphant conclusion. You'd think a movie about Nazis pounding the French army and sending the British Expeditionary Force fleeing for their lives as they ransack western Europe wouldn't have any trouble coming up with a villain, but you don't see the face of so much as one single German in a movie about a defeat handed out by them. They're less visible than the shark in the first half of Jaws, except through the entire flick.
Any suspense is beaten out of every scene and shot by dragging the audience over the same ground over and over and over, which fills time in what could have been a 20 minute documentary, and makes any hope of suspense and payoff as forlorn as the hopes of the soldiers on Dunkirk beach in the spring of 1940. The conclusion is anything but triumphant, to the point that the writers of this piece of garbage should be lecturing at Lockheed on stealth technology, for how to hide a climax in a war movie so well that the audience can't find it. The most fitting scene is the pointless waste of one of the cinematic heroes, who inexplicably lands his intact plane in German territory, after passing up the chance to ditch in front of the true heroes of Dunkirk, the fleet of Small Boats, and hitch a ride back to England, and instead ends up captured as his Spitfire, like the movie itself, goes up in flames.
This movie owes a lot to other war movies: mainly to the baker's dozen of shitastic anti-war tripe vomited on American troops during the first dozen years of this century, for instance. It's as rousingly bad and malformed as Hurt Locker. It sucks the drama out of an epic tale better than Memphis Belle. It makes the would-be heroes of the movie less likeable than the cretins in Three Kings. It's what Zulu would have looked like if it had been directed by Robert Altman or Roman Polanski. It's what The Alamo would have been like if it had starred Billy Bob Thornton instead of John Wayne. It's what you get when you take a grade school play and try to film it like it's opera. It's Hamburger Helper hash masquerading as haute cuisine. And it makes the first half of M*A*S*H* and the second half of Full Metal Jacket seem coherent by contrast.
If it weren't for the talents of award-winning actors like Kenneth Branagh starring as the Exposition Fairy, and Mark Rylance (who managed to steal every single scene he was in with Tom Hanks in 2015's Bridge Of Spies to win the Supporting Actor Oscar) plugging away beginning to end, this thing wouldn't even be fit for the fin bin at WallyMart. Hans Zimmer's ominously atonal cacophonous score is annoying and aptly bad for such a horrendously confused, disjointed, and ultimately pointless film.
And all those clueless SJWs whinging and caterwauling about white male casting in a movie about...white males, should get down on their knees and thank a merciful heaven there aren't more women and minorities in this craptastic stinker: so women and minorities get off scot-free and blameless for not ruining an already ruined movie. Nobody's been so happy in Hollywood to miss appearing in something since Denholm Elliot died to get out of making IJ4: Indiana Jones and the Temple of What The Fuck.
The real villain of this piece is director Christopher Nolan (who should have gone with crediting it to Alan Smithee), having proved with the Dark Knight trilogy that he can make movies with a purpose, let alone style and meaning. Just not this one. The hero is the audience, for sitting through this awful bore. The comedy was any of them thinking it was going to be worth the trouble. And the triumphant conclusion is when the credits roll, announcing you, like those helpless hopeless Tommies in 1940, finally get off that horrid beach, and survive to hope for better days.
Warner Brother shelled out $150M to produce this p.o.s., which means they probably threw away another $150M to promote it. It "won" the box office this weekend, but the second and third weekends will crater when word of mouth kills it (or at least, ought to), so after they split the $50M weekend gross with theatres and distributors, they'll only have to recoup the other $275M they wasted in foreign tickets and DVD sales. BLUF: short Time Warner stock.
My rating: Drowned on the beach. Torpedoed. Burned alive. Half buried.
And still shining and stinking like a dead mackerel in the moonlight.
Wait for it to come out on free TV.
Then watch reruns of Robot Chicken and Doctor Who, or infomercials, instead.
And if anyone ever meets the @$$hole(s) who green-lighted this sorry pork chop, please, take them deep sea fishing: as bait.
dun: What one deposits in a dunny.
dunny: Australian slang for shitter.
Dunkirk: Church of Shit. Making this the best film title in decades.