This week I was faced with a choice: Valerian or Dunkirk. One is Luc Besson’s first sci-fi movie since 5th Element and the other is Christopher Nolan’s stab at the war genre. One is based on a French comic and the other follows the Battle of Dunkirk. Both have potential, but I am restricted to one film per week. It did not take long to settle on Dunkirk given Nolan’s impeccable record. Besson I trust less with his past work and that Valerian looks like an awkward Avatar clone. Did I make the right decision or has Nolan finally made a bad movie?
After retreating to the town of Dunkirk, France, 400,000 British soldiers wait for evacuation back to England. However, the Germans will not let them go so easily.
Dunkirk is the best film of the year. It is masterful in every way and you need to see it as soon as possible. The dialog, visuals, action, and audio culminate in a cinematic achievement that only comes once in a decade.
It transcends the war genre into a suspenseful tale of survival in the face of an omniscient enemy. Every minute spent waiting brings the soldiers closer to annihilation while the home front races to save them. Fully realized on screen, this premise is made doubly unnerving thanks to Hans Zimmer’s unending score. In place of his usual style, the music is atmospheric and industrial, creating a sense of dread that works well with the visuals.
And that is all I am going to tell you.
Dunkirk is one of those movies you just have to see. It is the pinnacle of visual storytelling, the closest thing to a modern day masterpiece in this world of remakes and reboots. Prospective filmmakers and screenwriters: buy a ticket and take notes because there is no better example of how to create. Drop whatever you are doing and go see it. Whether you are a history buff, a total idiot or hate war movies, you will not be disappointed.